The company which is now named RCL and has 25 farms, will be closing 15 of its farms in Hammarsdale, Durban.
The company’s Managing Director Scott Pitman, said they have been left with no option but to let their staff go.
“Letting 1 350 people go at the end of the month will be the saddest day in my career. How do you get rid of people who have given you loyal service, some as long as 40 years?” he was quoted saying by Sunday Tribune.
Pitman blames the government for failing to tighten import controls on frozen chicken. This led to the EU and Brazil taking advantage and dumping imports in South Africa.
“The “brown portions” (the thighs and drumsticks) were then sold off at cut price – finding their way to developing world markets such as South Africa, where they were sold cheaper than what was locally produced.”
The dumping by importers has had a huge impact in the poultry industry, which has led to some poultry industries collapsing in other countries.
Countries such as Ghana have suffered the highest price as their poultry industry has collapsed due to EU’s dumping, says Chief executive of the SA Poultry, Kevin Lovell.
The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) is urging the government to take action. The Union’s Secretary-General, Katishi Masemola, says the union would embark on a protest action if the government doesn’t intervene.
“The companies are the victims. We call on government to convene discussions with the EU and review their commitment on poultry issues. “Fawu demands that government hikes import tariffs on chicken,”
Source: Sunday Tribune