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A very successful export workshop was held last week. Present were members of the AMIE executive team, some AMIE members, non AMIE traditional exporters, and representatives from various DAFF departments, and outside consultants, as well as the DTI, and very pleasingly, some representatives of the local poultry industry.

There were a number of excellent presentations on export history, current export potential, target markets, DTI assistance and DAFF’s challenges.

Most concerning was the predicament that DAFF finds itself in with very low operating budgets and many posts frozen.

This puts serious strain on their inadequate resources which leads to low performance levels in many areas, as we have seen.

Worryingly,we need to stress that this is a department that needs to certify the safety of food that enters and exits the country and bears overall responsibilty for animal and public health in the country.

despite these problems they have been very involved in the battle against BSE, Listeriosis and Avian Influenza amongst other challenges.

We, at AMIE, have often been at loggerheads with DAFF and we have been very unhappy with poor communication levels and slow policy implementation that has proved expensive to industry and consequently the consumer, but having said that, they were very open and candid in the workshop, which deserves recognition.

One would like to believe that their own Ministry would understand and appreciate their challenges and give them more support.