Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Livestock industry faces collapse

Livestock industry faces collapse

Local poultry industry is facing collapse due to the continued influx of imported meats

Local poultry industry is facing collapse due to the continued influx of imported meats

Business Editor
The livestock industry is considering major downsizing of operations and production to offset anticipated financial losses due to the enormous influx of imported protein into the market.

It has also been noted that the bulk of the imports do not meet health safety requirements amid concerns most of the players involved are notable butcheries and also companies such as Zimbabwe Defence Industries.

It has emerged that butcheries such as Meat Market, which is trading as Easy Serve, Koala Park outlets are some of the main culprits in the wholesaling and retailing of imported meat. Imports are also being arranged by agents on behalf of ZDI.

According to a report from the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council imported meat products, including chicken, turkey, pork, ox liver and polony are once again being wholesaled and retailed in outlets around the country.

This is in spite the existence of capacity to produce most of the products.

“This has resulted in dramatic slowdown in sales, increased stockpiling of local products and softening producer prices LMAC said.

“Stakeholders in the livestock industry are considering major downsizing of their operations and production to offset financial loss.

LMAC said between January and June, there was noticeable increase in the importation of non-poultry protein products into Zimbabwe.

Two thirds of the non-poultry products are made up of sausages, polony and other meat preparations; despite the fact Zimbabwe has the capacity.

There has been an increase in import of live beef, beef liver, frozen beef cuts, frozen pork and offal from cattle, sheep and goats.

Importing offals has long been opposed to by veterinary officials in Zimbabwe due to high risk of exposing livestock to foreign diseases.


A new phenomenon is the import of pork meat from South Africa since May, which is worrying for pig producers struggling to offload stocks. This reduced wholesale prices from $3,90 to $3,70 per kg.

With Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency consistently showing high levels of mechanically de-boned meat compared to SARS data, it suggests they may be mislabelling of imports as MDM to avoid duties.

As such, as much as $3 million duties may not have been collected, as chicken meats also appear to be repackaged and then sold.

SARS data shows that the chickens were being imported at an average price of $0,68 per kg, but cheap sources chicken such as leg quarters from Brazil land in Durban port at a cost of $1,50 per kg.

“The price of chicken drops dramatically as it approaches the date of expiry to circumvent costs to legally dispose of the product,” LMAC said.

The data show that 60 percent of the imports come from SA.

“This begs the question as to whether the ban on poultry imports from South Africa has been listed or not,” the livestock council said.

Zimbabwe banned imports of poultry meat from South Africa following reports of an outbreak of avian influenza in ostriches in Western Cape.

Further, the chickens are not accompanied by veterinary health certificates from the country of origin neither are they supported by non-manipulation certificates from the port of entry, LMAC said.

Questionable dates of expiry raise concern about the actual date of processing and hence the safety and wholesomeness of the products.

Usually, a fictitious 15 months beyond the expiry dates is displayed on the products, raising serious health and safety concerns for consumers.

“The purpose of the certificates is to safeguard the consumer and the livestock industry with regards to food safety,” said LMAC.

“The local industry cannot compete against the prices and volumes of these imported products, which are being landed at less than $1 per kg.

“Not only do these imports threaten the health and safety of the consumer and the livestock population, they also represent significant outflow of foreign currency,” LMAC added.


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