JOHANNESBURG - The South African pork industry says it has been dealt a major blow by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi following his recent advice that people should avoid all polonies, cold meats, sausages and viennas in an effort to curb the deadly listeriosis which has claimed more than 180 lives.
Pork producer Dalein Heyl described Motsoaledi’s advice as “tragic and totally unprofessional mistake”, saying it had resulted in pork prices dropping from an average of R28/kg to R18/kg and even less.
“These prices are way below input cost margins,” he argued, saying this had led to the collapse of the country’s pork industry.
“This big mistake by the Minister has resulted in a total consumer hysteria, which has resulted in the devastating collapse of our pork industry,” said Heyl.
He pointed out that upcoming pig farmers would have no chance whatsoever to survive.
“Consequently, all the efforts that the SA pork industry have put into engaging and even financing upcoming farmers will go to nought,” he said.
The outbreak of listeriosis has been traced to an Enterprise Foods facility in Polokwane. Despite recalling affected products including polony, viennas and sausages, produced at its Polokwane and Germiston facilities, Enterprise Foods has denied a link existed between its products and the more than 180 deaths.
- BUSINESS REPORT