The recent expiration of import tariffs that protected the South African potato industry from dumping means that we are now at risk of below-cost frozen French fries flooding the market.
According to Eminetra, the renewal application known as a sunset review, for anti-dumping tariffs for another five years would not be done in time.
South Africa’s independent regulator, the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC), then reviews the application, reports Fin24.
Potato SA believes that the influx of frozen French fries from The Netherlands and Belgium may create a knock for South African potato farms and producers. Eventually, it could lead to an impact on the local food security.
In the meantime, the South African potato industry provides employment to 45 000 permanent and seasonal labourers and is worth R7.5 billion (primary level) and R26 billion (secondary level). The industry plants 50 000 hectares of potatoes, providing 45% of total vegetable crops produced in SA, reports The London News. This amounts to a total of R8.5 billion that contributes to the economy.
“The battle between the local potato industry and global importers has a long-standing history, with South Africa being considered a prime destination for dumping frozen processed potato products,” Willie Jacobs, CEO of Potatoes SA said in a statement.