TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

'AGOA chicken deal creates business opportunities'

Friday, 10 June 2016

Source: ENCA

A small food import and distribution business in Germiston has won a major contract to import chicken. Companies like this one will be assisted by the US, as they develop their trade.

For almost a decade, Evodia Motsepe battled to find a job.

She jumped at the opportunity to participate in a US-backed, black entrepreneurship programme.

It helps South Africans take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

"The idea came because I was not working for a long period of time, I started to think that if I can go into the chicken business this might work," Evodia Motsepe of Mega Food Supplies said.

Motsepe is one of the first South Africans to benefit from the entrepreneurship programme, for poultry importers.

Earlier this year, South Africa secured continued duty-free access to the US market and Motsepe is now making the most of that deal.

Motsepe says, as the first black woman importer of chicken, it has been a big game changer for me. It was not easy breaking into this male dominated industry but here I am.

As part of the new deal, 65-thousand tons of US chicken will enter the South African market annually.

Mega Food Supplies will import 4,000 tons.

But Agoa is not just about importing poultry.

"Evodia who has been out of work for a considerably amount of time, she will be trained on how to import, she will be trained on international trade fundamentals, such as sourcing logistics, marketing and procurement of the product,” CEO of Mega Food Supplies Sol Motsepe said.

Mega Food will supply the departments of correctional services, health and education.

It also supplies restaurants, mining companies and wholesalers.

But Motsepe has bigger dreams, and wants to see her company grow into a huge corporation. 

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