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SA's potato industry under threat after anti-dumping duties not renewed in time

29 July 2021 7:25 PM
Tags:
Farmers
Agriculture
The Money Show
Food imports
Bruce Whitfield
Potato fries
potatoes
Potatoes South Africa
McCain
Nature's Garden
Bruce Sanday
anti-dumping tariffs
frozen fries
potato industry
McCain Foods
potato farmers
frozen potato fries
potato crop
potato processing industry
Potatoes SA
Itac
International Trade Administration Commission

Bruce Whitfield talks to the CEO of Nature's Garden, Bruce Sanday, about the threat posed by dumping from the European Union.
Image: dmvl on Pixabay

South Africa's potato industry is appealing for support amid the threat of massive dumping by the European Union (EU).

The industry's anti-dumping duty protection recently lapsed.

An application had been made for the reinstatement of the tariff for another five years, but local regulator the International Trade Administration Commission of SA did not complete it on time.

"There is a significant risk that the increased volume of below-cost frozen French fries that land on our shores from the Netherlands and Belgium will cripple South African farmers and producers" warns Potatoes South Africa.

© Dean Drobot/123rf.com

Bruce Whitfield finds out about the history of this protection from Bruce Sanday, CEO of Nature's Garden.

It's not the normalised market the industry is worried about says Sanday, it's when the EU has an excess and capacity to dump it in the South African market.

Around ten years ago some protection started coming in and there were around 48,000 tons a year being dumped into South Africa, or imported at the time.... That's come right down to about 18,400 tons in 2020.

Bruce Sanday, CEO - Nature's Garden

It's not imports the industry is afraid of; it is the dumping.

Bruce Sanday, CEO - Nature's Garden

The South African market is so significantly smaller than a European market that with the slightest change in their markets in the crop production... it can come in at well below what the cost of local manufacture is.

Bruce Sanday, CEO - Nature's Garden

If the European market has a 3% bumper crop, it means it can literally dump half of our local requirements into the South African market he says.

"We just cannot compete."

Yes, consumers - and retailers for that matter - would love a cheaper price, but just because a product is imported for cheaper doesn't mean that the end consumer will necessarily see that.

Bruce Sanday, CEO - Nature's Garden

What it will do is place the local producers under threat and that, ultimately, will result in a longer-term problem locally both in terms of jobs... and also in terms of continued supply.

Bruce Sanday, CEO - Nature's Garden

After the review was not completed within the 18-month deadline by Itac, the industry has a new application in place Sanday says.

The really disappointing and disturbing part of it is that the final Itac report that came out... showed that certainly the anti-dumping protection we had, worked and that there were grounds to extend it for an additional five years. But because of the time lapse, it fell away!

Bruce Sanday, CEO - Nature's Garden

For more detail, listen to the conversation below:




29 July 2021 7:25 PM
Tags:
Farmers
Agriculture
The Money Show
Food imports
Bruce Whitfield
Potato fries
potatoes
Potatoes South Africa
McCain
Nature's Garden
Bruce Sanday
anti-dumping tariffs
frozen fries
potato industry
McCain Foods
potato farmers
frozen potato fries
potato crop
potato processing industry
Potatoes SA
Itac
International Trade Administration Commission

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