Africa, Processing, fries, chips, Trade/Markets/Prices

South Africa: French fry import tariffs remain a ‘hot potato’

Georg Southey, general manager of Merlog Foods, told Farmer’s Weekly that the price of frozen French fries had almost doubled over the past year in South Africa, from about R16/kg to R30/kg due to the introduction of import tariffs, which, according to him, created a shortage of French fries on the market.

As Glenneis Kriel reports, he added that Merlog, a distributor of both imported and locally-produced frozen chips [fries], had not been able to secure frozen chips from any of the local producers for more than six months because of these supply challenges.

However, Willie Jacobs, CEO of Potatoes SA, stressed that the import tariffs, which amounted to 23% for Belgium, 104% for the Netherlands and 181% for German suppliers, were necessary to protect the local industry against “dumping”.

“These suppliers were [previously] selling frozen chips below their normal market value and this was undercutting South African producers and costing [the country] jobs,” he said.

Jacobs added that the import duties did not affect food security in South Africa, as frozen French fries were simply too expensive for underprivileged communities and vendors who catered for these communities to purchase.

Source: Farmers Weekly. Read the full story here
Photo: Credit Farmers Weekly

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