How the Avian flu egg shortage is affecting hospitality across the Western Cape
Chicken farmers and egg producers are predicting millions of rand loses following the outbreak of bird flu in the west of South Africa – but the hospitality trade is facing increased costs as well.
Avian flu has hit six provinces across the Western Cape and more than two million chickens have been culled since the outbreak began in October.
The disease, which is harmless to people, has been spread by migratory birds heading south and has been reported across the republic but it is around Cape Town where the epidemic has caused most devastation.
And the hospitality sector is feeling the effects as kitchens look to ensure a supply of quality eggs for guests.
Patrick Fisher (pictured left) is the Director of F&B at the exclusive One and Only Resort in Cape Town, which looks across the Victoria and Albert Waterfront to Table Mountain and promises ‘the world’s top chefs feed the most decadent culinary desires’.
“We use only free range eggs and prices have gone up between 10 and 16 per cent in the past two weeks,” he told The Hotel Show Africa. “And we also potentially face a chicken meat shortage, which could also impact our business.”
In a region of South Africa already hit by water shortages, this is another headache for hotel and restaurant operators looking to meet the demands of one of the continent’s most successful tourist destinations.
But Patrick said hotels were working together and sharing information. “We are all in the business of ensuring top quality service to the hundreds of thousands of people who visit the Western Cape every year. So, we are working together, sharing information about supplies and doing whatever we can to ensure guests’ requirements are met.”
While the government is monitoring the situation in the region, poultry producers are considering a vaccination programme while others know that when warmer temperatures arrive, there will be a recession in the cases of Avian flu.