SOUTH AFRICA: Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana met European Union (EU) ambassador to South Africa Marcus Cornaro to discuss bilateral trade relations between South Africa and the EU The meeting took place in the context of important job losses in the poultry industry, public protests, and massive media coverage. It has been reported that the ministers emphasized the importance of the poultry sector to rural development and the revitalization of agriculture and the agro-processing value-chain. It also further been reported that the ministers highlighted the measures implemented by government to date which aim to address the challenges facing the industry in totality. The meeting recognized the crisis in the poultry industry as being complex and thus offered a platform to exchange views on the problems faced by the industry, which included structural, and competitiveness issues as well as increased imports.

At this meeting, the EU ambassador underlined that the EU was of the view that the crisis is caused more by the structural challenges affecting the poultry sector rather than by EU imports. It has further been reported that the ambassador also expressed interest in offering the EU’s support to the restructuring of the South African poultry industry and recalled that exports of South African poultry to the EU are an opportunity which should be pursued. Both parties expressed goodwill to help facilitate market access and to enhance their co-operation on sanitary and phytosanitary issues (SPS). The EU and South Africa were further committed to engage in outreach activities, sectors analyses, tackling trade barriers, and smoothing trade flows to help business take full advantage of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Source: