Supreme Poultry not guilty – SAPA

chickensJOHANNESBURG The Southern African Poultry Association (SAPA) this week denied claims that poultry company, Supreme Poultry, was found guilty of reworking rotten chickens and re-selling them to the public.

The South African Communist Party (SACP), last week claimed that Supreme Poultry had been found guilty of the allegations, after an investigation by inspectors from the countrys Department of Agriculture and called for a deterrent penalty on the company, which is also a renowned exporter of chicken produce.

However, SAPA Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Lovell, this week exclusively told ***The Zimbabwean that the SACP claims were false and blamed the South African and Zimbabwean governments for crucifying Supreme Poultry on unfounded allegations.

Lovell added that the Zimbabwean government made an erroneous decision when it banned the South African company from exporting meat to Zimbabwe basing on the same unfounded allegations.

Supreme Poultry chickens were banned in Zimbabwe in the wake of allegations that the South African company was exporting rotten chickens and that its chickens were fed genetically modified maize ingredients, which compromised the quality of their meat.

Supreme runs three abattoirs and the two which were accredited for exports to Zimbabwe are not the one in the press articles, said Lovell in an email he sent to ***The Zimbabwean, after an inquiry by our Johannesburg correspondent.

According to the company, they do not take returns back to those two plants. Zimbabwe’s decision is therefore, erroneous as it relates to an unfounded allegation that is alleged to have taken place at a plant which does not supply to Zimbabwe.

The SACP last week intensified its calls for punitive action on Supreme Poultry, calling for sanctions and stiffer penalties on the company, but Lovell said the press reports that the poultry trader had been found guilty were false, adding that the inspectors from the Department of Agriculture, tasked with investigating the alleged wrong-doings, were yet to complete their task.

These ‘findings’ are nothing of the sort, added Lovell in his email, indicating that the allegations came partly as sour grapes from a dismissed former employee of Supreme Poultry.

Lovell said the South African government had also taken a misinformed view that the countrys poultry industry was in contravention of agricultural laws, something he also bemoaned.

Supreme Poultry, which also supplies fast-food outlets as Nandos and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), was last April accused of unfair competition by the Zimbabwean Poultry Association (ZPA), which first alleged that the South African company was selling chickens fed genetically modified maize ingredients, which compromised the quality of their meat.

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