A South African delicacy will be making its way to the far east thanks to a groundbreaking trade development where a Western Cape-based company secured a lucrative R300 million per year deal to export chicken feet to China.
This major trade deal is set to deliver 540 tons of South African chicken feet or “walkie talkies” to China every month, and has the potential to generate up to 3,000 jobs throughout the entire value chain.
The procurement of the product will be done through a collaboration with a network of predominantly female-owned poultry farms in the Western Cape and Mpumalanga.
Carla Kote, the founder and CEO of the company that has led the charge, AskCarlaKote, said that “this deal holds enormous potential for South African poultry farmers and our clients.”
“While we have experienced some delays due to the recent bird flu outbreak in the country, we are optimistic that once all regulatory hurdles have been addressed, we will be sending our first test order to China before the end of the year,” said Kote.
AskCarlaKote was able to secure this lucrative deal with the support of Wesgro, the Official Tourism, Trade, and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, as well as Standard Bank.
Chicken feet have become a highly sought-after delicacy in China, with nearly half of the country’s annual chicken imports being used for this purpose. Chinese cuisine incorporates chicken feet into soups, stews, and even snack items.
In the past, China has sourced most of its chicken feet from countries like Brazil, Vietnam, and the United States, as South Africa’s poultry product exports did not meet international standards.
However, emerging markets like that of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and countries within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Continental Free Trade Area are now showing promise for importers.
With the global demand for poultry products, particularly from countries like China, continuously increasing, South Africa’s poultry industry has, and is, showing the potential for significant expansion.
AskCarlaKote is currently in advanced discussions with various clients in West Africa to meet the high demand for chicken feet in China. Additionally, the company has received another inquiry from the Asian market regarding the supply of chicken feet.