By AKANI CHAUKE in Johannesburg


THE Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE) has called for an urgent meeting with South Africa Minister of Agriculture Thoko Didiza to
address concerns on food security.

Meat importers have appealed to the government to fast-track imports through the Durban port following last week’s unrest.

The import food industry has lost 40 000 tons of cold storage capacity and significant volumes of raw material during the crisis, which raises fears this will severely impact the food supply and manufacture of
protein products in the short term.

“In light of recent events, it is imperative we must maintain food security,” said AMIE Chief Executive Officer, Paul Matthew.

“We feel that we can avoid a national food crisis if the government assists the import and export sector to accelerate their operations to improve food supply for a constrained market.”

He called on the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) and Department of Trade, Industry and Competition
(DTIC) to expedite the flow of product through the
Durban port.

This is with regard to the paperwork, testing, inspections and container releases.

“We need to do something urgently to prevent a food crisis in our country,” Matthew said.

DTIC on Monday stated that large retail chains had reported that supply of food and other products to South African stores and neighbouring
states, affected by disruptions in supply chains in KwaZulu-Natal were largely back on track.

Government has set a priority is to strengthen further the security of supply to the province and neighbouring countries. – CAJ News