17 Feb 2014 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 17 FEB (NAMPA) - Clover Namibia intends to re-appoint 34 workers whom it will retrench at the end of this month, if the company wins the High Court case against the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The case is expected to be heard on 14 March 2014 after the company took the line ministry to court following a Cabinet decision to introduce quantitative restrictions on the importation of dairy products into the country.
Clover Dairy Namibia General Manager Craig Deyzel told Nampa in an interview on Monday that Governments decision has negative complications for the industry.
This very unfortunate situation comes as a direct result of the quantitative restrictions introduced by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which halved the amount of dairy products that Clover is able to import into Namibia.
The significant loss of volumes and subsequent sales made it unsustainable for Clover to maintain its existing staff complement, and also hindered its ability to deliver to outlying areas in the north and south of the country, he stressed.
Business needs to be favourable again to continue with its staff component of 77 workers, according to Deyzel.
He said workers were already informed last month about the retrenchments at the company. Workers will receive severance packages as well as all other benefits.
Members of the dairy sector were required to register for the intended Dairy Market-Share Promotion Scheme last year before Cabinet took the decision. The aim of the scheme is to promote the local production of dairy products; protect the industry against the importing of low-priced dairy products; and ensure a constant supply of dairy products in the case of disease or shortages in countries Namibia imports from.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry received the go-ahead for the imposition of quantitative restrictions in terms of the relevant provisions of the Import and Export Act, 1994 (Act No. 3 of 1994) on the importation into Namibia of fresh, extended shelf life (ESL) and Ultra High Temperature (UHT) milk; buttermilk, curdled, yoghurt and other fermented milk from the Namibian dairy industry.
Since 2012, the local dairy industry has been under constant pressure from cheaper dairy imports. The local dairy market is fully deregulated; hence open for competition with imported products based on free market principles.
Clover Namibia is a wholly owned subsidiary of South Africas Clover Industries Limited.