SA Groundnut Forum (SAGF)
held on 15 February 2018 at 10:00 at the offices of the Oilseeds Industry, 49 River Road, Woodmead

  1. Opening

    Mr Visser opened the meeting with a prayer.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson welcomed all present at the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum.

  3. Attendance


    Ms A Botha Chairperson
    Dr C van der Merwe Tiger Brands
    Mr N Hawkins SAGIS
    Mr P Van Wyk VGM
    Mr PA Visser Golden Peanut and Tree Nut SA
    Mr L De Kock Roba Foods
    Mr R Norwich Botnim TDG
    Mr K Conradie Kalinda Trading
    Mr W Snijman ARC Grain Crops Institute
    Ms H Terblanche ARC Grain Crops Institute
    Mr L Madubanya ARC Grain Crops Institute
    Mr G Scholtemeijer OAC
    Ms L Müller Triotrade
    Mr RW Higgs Triotrade
    Mr GC Nortjé GWK
    Mr CJ Wegner PPECB
    Ms N Mnonopi PPECB
    Mr Y Zwane PPECB
    Mr M Fouseca AFGRI
    Mr G Dreyer New Nut Company
    Mr K van Huyssteen SANSOR
    Mr R Mommsen C Steinweg Bridge Procurement
    Mr C Dominic Thokoman
    Mr G Bezuidenhout Farmer's Weekly
    Mr G Keun Chief Executive Officer


    Mr C Louw Grain SA
    Mr G Bruwer Grain SA
    Mr L Olivier Golden Peanut
    Ms M Scheepers DAFF
    Ms R Beukes DAFF
    Mr H Lazarus LB Nuts
    Mr P van Heerden PPECB
    Dr Kingston ARC Grain Crops Institute
  4. Personalia

    Mr Mooketsi Mosome died recently and the meeting expressed sympathy with all family, friends and colleagues.

    The meeting congratulated Messrs L De Kock and G Keun with their birthdays, respectively on 19 and 31 March.

  5. Finalisation of agenda

    The agenda was tabled and noted. The following additional items were included as part of the agenda:

    • Item 10.3 – Reaction of USA and Australia to South America Peanut Smut
    • Item 10.4 – Article: Import Prices
    • Item 10.5 – Imports from India
  6. Approval of minutes

    The minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2017 were approved as a true reflection of the proceedings.


    1. That the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum held on 19 September 2017 be approved as a true reflection of the meeting.
    2. Chairperson
      Forum Members

  7. Matters arising from the minutes

    1. Strategic Industry Plan

      1. Registered Cultivars

        (Resolution of the SA Groundnut Forum, minutes of 19/09/2017)

        The Chairperson mentioned that a document containing information of all the registered groundnut cultivars had been compiled. The document was distributed to selected members for comments.

        The Chairperson also mentioned that the document would be finalised after taking all comments into consideration.

        All available information was mentioned and it was suggested that the information be included in a brochure to be used as the first point of reference for those wishing to learn more about groundnuts.

        The Chairperson said a copy of the brochure would probably be available during the next meeting of the Forum.


        1. That two additional weeks be allowed for Forum members to provide comment on the draft document referring to the information about registered cultivars.

          Forum Members

      2. Groundnut Symposium

        The Chairperson suggested that the matter be held over as a discussion point on the agenda, to be considered at a future meeting.

        Mr Visser said that an ad hoc committee could deal with the matter if the need arises to organise a symposium.

      3. Farmers' Day

        The Chairperson mentioned that the matter had been discussed in detail at the previous meeting of the forum.

        The Chairperson asked the Grain SA representatives whether they discussed the possibility of farmers' days at their Specialist Work Group. Mr De Kock mentioned that the matter was not discussed.

        After further discussion of the matter, the Chairperson decided to keep the point on the agenda for discussion at a future meeting.

      4. School feeding schemes

        The Chairperson reported that this is a long-term project aiming to reintroduce peanut butter to school feeding schemes. The Chairperson mentioned that some work had already been done and that input had been received from members of the forum about the matter. He added that the matter still needed a lot of work.

    2. LEAF services

      The Chairperson provided feedback about discussions with LEAF Services and mentioned that:

      • DAFF took a direct interest in the LEAF discussions and called meetings with the Grain and Oil Seeds Industries;
      • SGS was also involved in the discussions to assist LEAF Services with the required protocols and standards;
      • Forum members need to distinguish between the role of PPECB (exports) and the proposed mandate of LEAF Services.

      The Chairperson mentioned arguments presented at every meeting about the value to be added by inspections/grading to be done by LEAF Services, as well as the possible benefits.

      It was noted that the proposed business plan had not been accepted, but that industry and commodity specific discussions would be organised.

      Dr Van Der Merwe referred to the problems experienced with other commodities, where matters resulted in legal action taken by some industry role players.

      Mr Hawkins confirmed that SGS also consulted SAGIS to obtain industry information.

      The Chairperson referred to discussions with SGS and its request about the possibility that qualified graders at selected plants be taken over by LEAF Services. Mr Visser made it clear that it is not practical, because grading involves about 20% of the employees' responsibilities.

      The Chairperson said that the forum members would be informed of any progress and that the message in respect of employees responsible for grading at selected plants would be conveyed to SGS.


      1. That forum members be kept informed of any progress with discussions about LEAF Services/SGS.

        Mr Keun

      2. That SGS be informed that it is not possible to take over grading staff at selected facilities as proposed.

        Mr Keun

    3. Tariff codes on blanched groundnuts

      The Chairperson said that feedback from the WCO regarding the matter was still awaited at the previous forum meeting. She mentioned that the WCO decided to classify blanched peanuts under the H12.02 code (raw peanuts). It was noted that no official feedback had been received from SARS.

    4. GAP Audits

      The Chairperson mentioned that PPECB had not been approached for feedback about GAP audits, but that Mr Wegner could comment if he wished to do so.

      Mr Wegner said that significantly fewer audits had been done compared to the initial planned audits, but that the process would definitely continue as planned. The Chairperson mentioned that PPECB assisted the industry during the drought by doing fewer audits.

      The Chairman asked about the benefits of the audits and whether they added value, helped to improve quality control and whether processing plants felt more at ease with the product received.

      Mr De Kock mentioned that the matter had been discussed at the meeting of Grain SA's Groundnut Specialist Work Group. Mr De Kock mentioned that as far as grains and oil seeds were concerned, groundnuts remained the only commodity that was subject to official GAP auditing at the time of the meeting. He emphasised the fact that the auditing requirement is used as a negative consideration when farmers decided about the commodity they wished to plant. Mr De Kock referred to the fact that farmers were not keen to carry the costs of these audits and that selection facilities carried the costs to ensure that farmers continue to plant groundnuts to secure servicing the capital investments. In addition, he raised the issue of effectiveness of GAP auditing, specifically in terms of Aflatoxin control on farm level. The selection facilities have regulated controls and standards in place. These include aspects such as HACCP, but are sufficient to safeguard against Aflatoxin in export and local products.

      It was also said that the GAP audits rely on documented records and it was suggested that as an alternative, auditing of the intake records, with perhaps one or two confirming farm audits, might yield better results.

      Mr De Kock suggested that a letter containing all the information and arguments be forwarded to DAFF, with a request to reconsider the matter. Mr Higgs supported Mr De Kock's suggestion and also mentioned that some role players are now complying with BRC.

      Mr Scholtemeijer asked whether it may not be a producer problem to be sorted out by Grain SA. The Chairperson said that Grain SA would be requested to be involved.

      Upon discussing the matter, the meeting agreed that a letter be sent to DAFF, requesting additional discussions on the GAP audits.


      1. That a letter be sent to DAFF, requesting additional discussions about the GAP audits.

        Mr Keun

    5. Japanese delegation visit

      The contents of the report in respect of the visit of the Japanese delegation to the agenda were noted.

      The Chairperson mentioned the possibility of a Forum delegation visiting Japan in the near future. Such a visit would be open to any industry role player and will probably require the inclusion of (a) representative(s) of the farming community. The Chairperson also requested more information about the expectations of such a visit.

      Mr Visser emphasised the importance of the Japannese market for the South African Groundnut Industry and also mentioned other opportunities like China. He said the main focus should remain advertising the South African industry.

      The Chairperson said the idea to involve producers was to bring them closer to the market to allow them to experience the situation and understand expectations of markets such as Japan in terms of quality etc.

      Mr Higgs emphasised how important it was for the aim of such a visit to be the South African Groundnut Industry. Mr Higgs said that the visit to Japan is of the utmost importance, but requested that attention also be given to European markets in the future. Messrs Visser and Nerwich were of the opinion that Europe may be approached via participation of the International Peanut Forum that was due in a few weeks' time. It was agreed that the event is too soon and that the local market needed to be stabilised first. Any message conveyed at such a forum had to be developed properly.

      After discussion of the matter it was agreed that:

      • Contact be made with Japan to organise the proposed visit of a South African delegation;
      • The possibility of visiting Europe in future had to be investigated.


      1. That contact be made with Japan to organise the proposed visit of a South African delegation.


      2. That the possibility of visiting Europe in future be investigated.


  8. Industry information and marketing aspects

    1. Crop and area estimates

      The contents of the report about the preliminary area planted under summer crops, dated 30 January 2018, received from the Crop Estimates Committee, were noted.

      Mr Visser enquired about the possibility of distinguishing between dry land and production under irrigation. Although some members expressed doubt whether it would be possible, it was agreed to request the Crop Estimates Committee to consider Mr Visser's request.

      Various members also contributed to a discussion about declined intention to plant, an intention that decreased from 65 600 ha to 53 000 ha.


      1. That the Crop Estimates Committee be requested to consider the possibility of distinguishing between dry land production and production under irrigation.

        Mr Keun

    2. SAGIS: General feedback and market information

      Mr Hawkins of SAGIS presented updated information about the groundnut market. He mentioned various aspects like the stock levels, the international market, import and exports etc.

    3. PPECB Laboratory Services: Groundnut Report

      Mr Zwane of PPECB presented the groundnut volumes that were analysed.

      The volumes that were analysed from 2014 to 2017 were also compared and presented.

      The possibility of distinguishing between the locally produced and imported product was mentioned. The Chairman said that such a request may be forwarded to PPECB with a suggestion to discuss the matter.


      1. That discussions be held with PPECB about the possibility of distinguishing between the locally produced and imported product.

        Mr Keun

  9. Research

    1. Research Projects: 2018/2019

      The list of research projects for the 2018 financial year, included in the agenda as Annexure E, was noted.

    2. Feedback on cultivar evaluation project

      Mr De Kock gave complete feedback about the groundnut cultivar evaluation project that is an initiative of role players in the industry.

      Mr De Kock referred, inter alia, to co-workers, localities, cultivars and trial results. He said that climatic conditions, especially rainfall, were ideal and that it contributed to the good results achieved.

      Mr De Kock and his co-workers were congratulated with the results achieved. The Chairperson mentioned that she was particularly impressed with the results of the SelliePlus cultivar and asked whether it was commercially available yet. Ms Terblanche said that it would be available commercially soon.

    3. Breeding programme

      The Chairperson mentioned that Mr De Kock requested the addition of the discussion point to the agenda.

      It was mentioned that the peanut genetic code had been mapped and that it was available for all breeders etc. The meeting asked ARC how they saw this fit into their plan for breeding in the future.

      Mr Madubanya, a genomic expert of ARC, was introduced to do a presentation about the Groundnut Breeding Programme. In the presentation he referred to the key definitions, DNA as building blocks, genes, DNA molecular markers etc.

      Mr Madubanya also mentioned the ARC breeding strategies and referred to success achieved (high oleic acid), as well as the assistance of molecular markers.

      The Chairperson said that ARC requested the Groundnut Industry to prioritise their wish list, to allow ARC to focus on those traits.

      Mr De Kock expressed concern about the current challenges relating to cultivar breeding and seed propagation. He mentioned that progress was of significant importance for the industry and that it was essential to plan for the future now, despite the availability of good cultivars.

      Mr De Kock continued by referring to the availability of funds to maintain the breeding progrmme at ARC. He also referred to the discussions at the Grain SA Groundnut Specialist Work Group meeting about a possible levy per tonne earmarked specifically for the ARC breeding programme.

      Mr Visser said that ARC had to submit its future programme before such a levy could be considered. Mr Snijman mentioned that in order to succeed, it was important to link a risk management plan to the programme. He said this will enable the ARC to concentrate on specific priorities and consumer market demands. It would make it easier to adjust to different demands.

      The Chairperson said that industry must provide some direction about the breeding programme and indicate what it considered important, such as kernel size, Aflatoxin, drought resistance etc.


      1. That the Groundnut Industry prepare a priority list for breeding purposes.

        Mr Keun

  10. Additional matters

    1. Snippets

      The snippets included in the agenda were discussed as they appeared.

    2. SOLAS/SAMSA: Industry request

      The Chairperson said that the exporters requested again, to discuss the rules and regulations of the international shipping council, specifically that all shipping containers needed to show a verified mass.

      During the discussion of the matter, it was mentioned that:

      • South Africa underwrites the national regulations and therefore the shipping entity had to verify the mass;
      • There are two(2) ways of verification:
        • Weigh container on certified weighbridge and get a certificate;
        • Weigh your stock, your packing materials and the container before calculating the mass. The shipping entity must confirm the mass in writing.
      • Marine Notice, No 30 of 2016, of the South African Maritime Safety Authority explains the process; and
      • The parties involved need to be audited or certified.

        The Chairperson explained that there were two situations where the people involved needed to be audited or certified. The first applied to shipping entities and the second applied to agents, third party agents, bodies that handle packing containers on behalf of the shipping entity. The Chairperson explained the processes that apply and referred to the certificate of recognition issued by the parties that have been appointed by the maritime authorities to check and certify that the processes had been followed correctly and that calibration had been checked.

        The Chairperson said that if you used a third party for authorisation, the shipping entity had to be audited, irrespective of being situated elsewhere. The shipping entity and agent had to prove the document process, its appointment and everything else that proves the ability to verify mass. Those are the international regulations. The question arose why both shipping entity and third party were being held responsible for the certificate of authorisation (authority process) and not only the third party. It is an international regulation. Both parties, shipping entity and agent, had to be audited. Both get a certificate of authorisation. The shipping entity may appoint somebody else to handle shipping, but that party had to be verified too. It remains the shipping entity's responsibility to ensure that the appointed agent handles shipping according to the regulations and that the agent had been audited.

    3. USA/Australia – Peanut Smut

      The meeting noted that the USDA prohibited the import of raw peanuts from Argentina and Brazil due to Peanut Smut since October 2017. The only imports allowed from Argentina and Brazil into America, were blanched peanuts.

      The Chairperson said that it is important to be aware of the problem and that there was a possible risk if the product were imported from Argentina and Brazil.

      Ms Muller referred to the visits of Dr Baldessari of INTA, specifically his presentation about Peanut Smut.

    4. Producer awareness

      Mr Visser referred to the presentation done by Mr Hawkins of SAGIS, specifically the import prices mentioned. He said that it was also discussed during the meeting of the Grain SA Groundnut Specialist Work Group. He added that Grain SA was working on a method to use information available from SAGIS and other sources to calculate prices for producers.

    5. Imports: India

      Mr Visser reported that peanut butter and roasted product imports from China and India increased dramatically. He was of the opinion that it impacted negatively on the local market.

      During the discussion of the matter it was mentioned that:

      • There was an uneasy feeling about the control of Aflatoxin testing on imported groundnuts and groundnut products;
      • The local markets and exports were managed well in respect of Aflatoxin;
      • According to SARS and data reported by SAGIS, the annual imports of peanut butter more than doubled during the past three years;
      • Industry role players were of the opinion that imports from India might carry a high risk of unacceptable Aflatoxin levels;
      • The biggest concern about peanut butter was that there are no further sorting or production processes involved to reduce the risk of contaminated products reaching consumers; and
      • There was potential danger of damage to the local industry.

      After discussing the matter it was agreed that the Department of Health be approached to get clarity on the current practice and extent of control for groundnut and groundnut products, both locally produced products and imports.


      1. That the Department of Health be approached to get clarity on the current practice and extent of control for groundnut and groundnut products, both locally produced products and for imports.

        Mr Keun

  11. Date of next meeting

    It was agreed that the next meeting will take place on Wednesday, 18 July 2018.

  12. Adjournment

    There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 13h45.