Will a chicken war begin between Africa and the European Union?
In any case the cloth burns between the partners.
African producers are accusing their European counterparts of flooding the continent with cheap chicken legs at the expense of local chains.
Should European farmers learn to sweep in front of their doors?
We would be tempted to believe it. Because while they loudly declared the free trade agreements with Latin America that would pose the risk of seeing Europe flooded with Argentinean or Brazilian meat, these same farmers do not hesitate to sell their chickens in sub-Saharan Africa, without worrying in the least about the damage done to local chains.
In recent years, in fact, the European chicken gambols blithely in the African savannahs.
In 2003, 27% of European poultry exports flew to Africa.
Today, this figure reaches nearly 50%. And it is in particular Poland that derives the benefits.
The Polish poultry industry has become one of the most dynamic in Europe. It is also a real machine to export.
From 2010 to 2016, Polish chicken exports to Africa increased four-fold.
This European dynamism is coupled with a formidable capacity for adaptation.
Thus, when South Africa decides at the end of 2016 to ban chicken imports, European exporters rush in a few weeks to new markets in Congo, Ghana, Gabon or Liberia.
European chicken sells well because it is cheap.
In Ghana, it is three times cheaper than local chicken in the retail trade. But suddenly, Ghana lost part of its poultry industry and destroyed many jobs.
The European surge is likely to be even more uncontrollable when the EPAs, the Europe-Africa Trade Agreements that will succeed the Cotonou agreements come into force in two years.
This is why some voices demand that local agricultural sectors be taken into account in these agreements.
For the time being, the European producers make a pretense of not seeing these contradictions.
They sell their chicken and do the ostrich policy.