The FairPlay movement, founded in 2016 to oppose the allegedly unfair trade practises harming the local poultry industry, has called for VAT to be scrapped on chicken products.
FairPlay founder Francois Baird said chicken is SA’s most popular and most affordable meat protein, particularly for low income households.
“Therefore it is the poor who are most affected by price increases in chicken products. FairPlay first called for the zero-rating of particular chicken products in 2018, when VAT increased from 14% to 15%. After presentations by the poultry industry and FairPlay to parliament and the Woolard panel set up to investigate removing VAT from a number of items, to our great regret, chicken was not on the final list.
“We repeated this call in March this year when the first impact of the Ukraine war on food prices became apparent. It was clear then that food prices would continue to rise because of the war’s impact on grain, fuel and fertiliser prices and supplies. The VAT-free chicken campaign is pro-poor — it is aimed at chicken products most consumed by lower income households.
“These are fresh and frozen whole chicken and fresh and frozen chicken mixed portions, such as the popular individually quick frozen (IQF) bags. Cooked and flavoured chicken and other products favoured by more affluent consumers are excluded. Removing VAT from chicken products most consumed by poor people would lead to an immediate 15% price drop.”
Baird said in addition to public statements, the movement wrote to the presidency and the National Treasury in March 2022, detailing the proposal for the zero-rating of certain chicken products. “We have had no response,” he said.
Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.