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VIDEO: What the cluck? Chicken brining controversy in South Africa

The South African Poultry Association (SAPA) is taking legal action against new chicken brining regulations that will limit the amount of salt water they can inject into consumer's chicken. Imported poultry is not brined, why should local poultry be?

Earlier this year, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) introduced new regulations to reduce the level of chicken brining from 30-40% down to 15%. These regulations are set to be implemented in October 2016 however the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters of South Africa  (AMIE) are far from pleased. In a country that promotes 'local is lekker', they are confused as to why consumers are being lied to. With a nation battling to grow it's economy, and a huge portion of its citizens living below the breadline, there is the argument of trying to make the cost of chicken as affordable as possible however David Wolpert, CEO of AMIE, says:
"We are saying it is nonsense that the price of local chicken will go up if the brining levels are reduced to 15%... SA consumers have a right to know the basic facts. Many countries have an 8% guideline limit on brining. Our Brics partner, Brazil, the world’s largest poultry exporter, has banned brining altogether...Imported meat is, for the most part, not brined, and if it is brined, nowhere near local levels. Government’s brining regulations are a commendable attempt to follow international best practice."
According to Wolpert, frozen chicken accounts for 80-90% of the local market.However SAPA CEO Kevin Lovell said in May that the new rules
"will render chicken unaffordable for many of the poor, shrink the local poultry sector, increase unemployment and weaken the outlook for soya bean processing and maize production".
AMIE are continuing their fight against brining regulations in a bid to protect consumers.

About Hayley Reichert

Passionate South African in London with a 'glass half full' approach to life.
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