The competitiveness of sixteen selected food commodity chains in South Africa was calculated using the Revealed Comparative Advantage method of Balassa. The majority of commodity chains are marginally competitive. Except for the maize, pineapple, and apple chains, the competitiveness index generally decreases when moving from primary to processed products. This implies that benification or "value adding" opportunities in South Africa are restricted. To compete in a global economy strategies should be followed that improve the competitiveness of the whole food supply chain. It is i.e. not good enough for farmers to be able to compete globally at farm gate level, whilst the locally processed commodities that is sold to the consumer is not competitive in the world market.