“The Milk Producers’ organisation (MPO) is concerned about cheap dairy products currently being imported from Uruguay,” said Etienne Terre’Blanche, MD for the MPO, at a recent dairy day in Swellendam, Western Cape. “We’ve sent an investigator there to gather the information we need to prove they’re dumping dairy onto our market, violating international trade law as set out by the WTO.”
He pointed out that although the matter is the responsibility of Milk SA and the International Trade Administration Commission of SA, the MPO is footing the bill for the investigation, as it’s in the interest of all local dairy producers.
Terre’Blanche did not want to divulge the investigator’s identity, but said the person is “a South African farmer who knows the industry and is fluent in Spanish”. He stressed the MPO has a good relationship with the departments of agriculture and trade and industry. “As soon as there’s sufficient evidence, they can take the necessary steps. But this process could take a year to complete,” he warned. – Wouter Kriel