Agbiz welcomes the decision of the People’s Republic of China to once again accept wool exports from South Africa. The decision is a welcome development within the context of an increasingly volatile environment for international trade.
When South Africa relinquished its foot-and-mouth-disease (FMD-) free status in 2019, a protocol was agreed upon with the People’s Republic of China to mitigate any chance of contamination by registered warehouses following the time/heat inactivation protocol. Exports were once again halted when a FMD outbreak was detected in the northern provinces of South Africa in 2022. Roughly 80% of South Africa’s wool exports are destined for the People’s Republic of China, thereby threatening the sustainability of an industry that supports 8000 commercial farmers and 40 000 communal farmers.
The protocol was put in place precisely to ensure consistent supply in the wool trade when biosecurity is under threat and these measures needed to be trusted to mitigate any risks posed by the FMD outbreak. The announcement that trade will once again take place under this protocol provides a much-needed boost to the industry.
Agbiz and the wool industry worked closely with colleagues in government in reaching out to their Chinese counterparts. Our thanks go out to colleagues in the Departments of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Trade Industry and Competition as well as International Relations and Cooperation.