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