Exploring business pressures on the poultry industry with special reference to pre-harvesting protocols and dumping
This mini-dissertation explores the business pressures on the poultry industry in South Africa, with special references to pre-harvesting protocols and dumping. I extended prior work on pre-harvesting protocols and investigated the relationship between global trade and the influence of trade liberalisation on the domestic poultry market. This mini-dissertation is motivated by two research questions: (1) Which pre-transportation method and protocol of broilers would enhance animal welfare of broilers and deliver good quality to abattoirs? (2) Is foreign trade of poultry into the RSA fair? (a) Does dumping exist in the industry? (b) What are the effects of dumping on the local industry? This research offers two separate hypotheses: (1) H0: Welfare perceptions and H1: Good practice and (2) Fair trade versus dumping of products. It was hypothesised that manual catching, day or night and summer and winter loading are not negatively related to animal welfare of the broilers in the RSA. Distance from the abattoir is negatively related to animal welfare. In the second hypothesis dumping is negatively related to the poultry industry. The goals of this mini-dissertation were to determine whether (1) foreign trade and (2) animal welfare movements do contribute to unnecessary cost and strain on an already struggling industry. Previous research indicates that distance, season of the year and mechanical loading do have an effect on bird welfare and DOAs (Dead on Arrival). Previous studies have shown that the catching method did not influence the percentage of bruising. Literature on globalisation and foreign trade shows that product dumping has a negative economic effect on domestic markets and industries. It also shows that dumping of products does exist on the local poultry industry's market. Our most important contribution is to contribute to questions debated on in boardrooms, of which no straight answers to these problems are available due to the many factors that influence these answers. The study also advances our understanding of free trade. We conducted a mixed method approach on the animal welfare study to compare perceptions (questionnaire / qualitative study) with data collected (quantitative study) during a comparison of two different loading practices. A questionnaire (qualitative study) was used to determine the feeling of the consumer on imported poultry products, and to determine whether the feelings of the respondents are related to the industry's fears on imported or dumped poultry products. The findings of the research were that people's perceptions regarding animal welfare, especially towards mechanical loading, are not found in that manual loading is not harmful to broilers, also that other factors are higher contributors to poor animal welfare. The research also found that dumping does exist in the RSA poultry industry and it places unprecedented pressure on the poultry industry as a whole. Contrary to our main objectives it was also found that dumping and mechanisation leads to higher unemployment within the RSA borders. The results of the research indicate that undue and unfair pressures are being placed on the South African poultry industry. Managers should be watchful as to what pressures they must submit to. The industry and other role players should insist on a strategy towards domestic and foreign policies, in line with domestic and foreign food security and job creation. In conclusion a balance should be found between financially fair pressures placed on the poultry industry, trade liberalisation, poverty and social upliftment to prevent the industry from final collapse.