SA Groundnut Forum (SAGF)
held on 16 February 2017 at 10:00 at the offices of the Oilseeds Industry, 49 River Road, Woodmead

  1. Opening

    The meeting was opened with a prayer at 10h00.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson opened the meeting and welcomed everyone to the first meeting for the year.

  3. Attendance


    Ms A Botha Chairperson
    Mr G Bezuidenhout Farmer's Weekly
    Mr K Conradie Kalinda Trading
    Mr GL de Kock Roba Foods
    Mr N Hawkins SAGIS
    Mr R Mommsen C. Steinweg Bridge Procurement
    Ms L Muller ARC-GCI
    Mr RS Nerwich Botnim Trading
    Mr GC Nortje GWK
    Mr WL Olivier Golden Peanut & Tree Nut SA
    Mr P Sandford FRW Groundnuts
    Ms M Scheepers DAFF
    Mr GJH Scholtemeijer OAC
    Mr AH Snyman GWK
    Dr C van der Merwe Tiger Brands
    Mr K van Huyssteen SANSOR
    Mr C van Zyl Triotade Gauteng
    Mr PA Visser Golden Peanut & Tree Nut SA
    Mr N Wegner PPECB Laboratory
    Mr Y Zwane PPECB Laboratory

    By invitation

    Mr G Keun Chief Executive Officer
    Ms M Ritchie Quorum Secretarial Services


    Dr L Chetty SANSOR
    Mr C Dominic Thokoman Foods SA Pty Ltd
    Mr H Lazarus LB Nuts
    Mr C Louw GrainSA
    Mr F Minnaar GrainSA
    Mr K Nienaber RE Groundnuts
    Mr M Purnell Agbiz Grain
    Ms S Matai PPECB
  4. Personalia

    No items were noted.

  5. Finalisation of agenda

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

    Item 10. Additional Matters – to include the following items:

    • Item 10.4 – Drafts of the standards and requirements of feed exports
    • Item 10.5 – Armyworm Review and Update
    • Item 10.6 – Producer Grading Guidelines
    • Item 10.7 – SA Groundnut Cultivar Evaluations
  6. Approval of minutes

    The Minutes of the Meeting of 26 October 2016 were approved as a true reflection of the proceedings at the meeting.


    1. That the Minutes of the Meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum that was held on 26 October 2016 be approved as a true reflection of the meeting.
    2. Chairperson
      Forum Members<

  7. Matters arising

    1. Strategic Industry Plan

      (Resolutions 7.3.3–7.3.5 of the SA Groundnut Forum Minutes of 26 October 2017)

      A presentation on the grading guideline amendments would be presented at a later stage of the meeting.

    2. Strategic Industry Plan

      (Resolutions 7.3.3–7.3.5 of the SA Groundnut Forum Minutes of 26 October 2017)

      With regard to the preparation brochure detailing information on all the locally registered cultivars, Ms Muller reported that she had in her possession all the latest information on the characteristics of the cultivars she was involved with, but was still awaiting information on the latest cultivar re-evaluations. Ms Muller was tasked with forwarding the above information to the Chairperson, in order for a draft brochure to be designed in the interim whilst the Chairperson undertook to engage with other cultivar owners. A similar profile with relevant information on cultivar characteristics would be requested from these owners. Once the current yields are finalised, a draft brochure could be finalised and presented to the Forum before the new planting season begins.

      A matter not covered in the resolutions was the drafting and implementation of a 2016/2017 priority list. Efforts were underway to establish a priority list of the main issues at hand, as well as the relevance of these issues in the industry. A work group meeting was held, and a few of the issues that arose from this meeting included:

      • The Symposium Topic

        This topic had been discussed at length in many forum meetings. The Chairperson requested that the agenda needed to be concluded and suggested members to share relevant topic ideas with the forum. In the Chairperson's opinion, key topics could include subjects such as the newly implemented mechanical harvesting and drying processes, bulk deliveries and appropriate standards / methods to handle the intakes in wet weather. Furthermore, obtaining comparable information from other countries that deal with similar difficulties could be of great benefit to the farming community and larger commercial farmers in South Africa. The Oilseed Advisory Committee had advised the Chairperson that if the forum could not come up with appropriate topics, the symposium could be cancelled. Forum members were requested to please forward any topic ideas to the Chairperson before the next meeting.

      • Groundnut Industry Farmer's Day

        The Chairperson reported that Grain SA had undertaken an investigation into the grading of PPC and bulk handling grading processes, as well as a precleaning process on alternative products. This information could be very advantageous to the farming community if presented at an event such as a farmer's day. It would be beneficial to not only show the industry how the bulk handling processes work, but how the bulk handling grading was undertaken as well as any other new processes currently being implemented in the industry. The Chairperson made a further suggestion that perhaps relevant persons in other countries could be invited to share their international ideas and processes with the South African industry. The Chairperson undertook to draft a document together with the Grain SA work group, which will be presented to the Oilseed Advisory Committee, on the above comments and suggestions.

        It was suggested that due to the industry planting area being so extensive and widespread, consideration could be given to producing a video clip involving all of the farmer's knowledge and proficiency in their areas of expertise. The video clip could also contain the above ideas on bulk handling, grading and any other new technologies. The clip could still be released in the current season. It was proposed to draft a project plan on suggestions to be made to the Oilseed Advisory Committee, and forward the necessary to the Chairperson for her consideration beforehand.

      • Elite Cultivar Trials Project

        The Chairperson advised the forum that this project was still on going, but had been temporarily put on hold until further developments were made. An extensive amount of work had to still be carried out, before being presented to the next meeting.

      • Peanut Butter School Programme Project

        The Chairperson reported that a discussion was held at the Oilseed Advisory Committee Meeting regarding the on-going development and sustainability of the groundnut industry. The issue of placing peanut butter back into the school feeding programmes was discussed at length. The only area of concern was the issue of Aflatoxin that had unfortunately occurred in peanut butter previously.

        The Chairperson advised that she would like to register this as a worthwhile project to explore once again, but an area of concern was how the Government would handle their procurement process, going forward. Bribes had been rife in the previous project and low-grade peanut butter had been introduced as a cheaper option, containing the poisonous Aflatoxin. This opened oneself up to a high risk factor when dealing with a low-grade peanut butter.

        It was noted that peanut butter is an excellent feed product, but not a cheap option. It was suggested that in order to alleviate this concern, a list of the reputable peanut butter suppliers would be registered onto a database with certain criteria and rules, and only those registered could be utilised in the procurement process. When a supplier does register, he must be made aware that that there will be quality and food safety issues in the process.


      1. That Ms Muller be requested to forward the relevant information she had in her possession with regard to locally registered cultivars to the Chairperson as soon as possible.

        Ms Muller

      2. That Forum members be requested to forward any topic ideas to the Chairperson before the next meeting in respect of the proposed symposium.

        Forum Members

      3. That Mr Visser be mandated to draft a project plan / agenda for the proposed farmer's day. To provide the necessary plan to the Chairperson for her consideration, before submission to the Oilseed Advisory Committee.

        Mr Visser

      4. That the Chairperson tasked the forum members to provide suggestions and ideas on how this proposed project could be implemented, as well as the process to be followed for reintroducing peanut butter into the schools' feeding system.

        Forum Members

    3. Leaf Services/APT Act

      (Resolution 7.4.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum Minutes of 26 October 2017)

      The Chairperson provided an update on the work group that had been established to consult with Leaf Services and DAFF, in order to clarify the products that would be subject to an inspection and to what extent they would be inspected. It was noted that the work group had met with Leaf Services on 24 November 2016, to discuss these issues. A summary of the discussion was circulated to relevant persons for further comments and/or additions. What was ascertained from the work group summary, included:

      • Which groundnuts would be included and/or excluded, for example blanched or roasted groundnuts;
      • With regard to the unsieved and unsorted imported groundnuts, regulation R966 clearly stated that unsieved and unsorted products are to be excluded from inspections. A requirement in writing confirming the interpretation of this exclusion into the relevant legislation was necessary.
      • With regard to the unsieved and unsorted imported groundnuts, regulation R966 clearly stated that unsieved and unsorted products are to be excluded from inspections. A requirement in writing confirming the interpretation of this exclusion into the relevant legislation was necessary.
      • An explanation on what the process would be, if a booking for a 48-hour inspection was made and DAFF was unable to attend. Was the product able to be moved or sold in the interim, or would a person have to wait for DAFF to make a final decision on this.
      • Notice 570 clearly stipulated that imported products used for manufacturing, processing and repacking are to be excluded from the said inspection process. Products would still require clearance even though DAFF and the Department of Health regimes were firmly in place. An explanation was required on this process.

        In turn and in response to the above, Leaf Services forwarded a document on the inspection methodology for both grain and grain products to the Chairperson in an attempt to answer the above questions. The document covered the inspection of all grains, and not groundnuts only. On receipt of the book, the Chairperson advised Leaf Services that groundnuts were traded and moved in an entirely different manner to that of other grain products, therefore confirming that the document did not relate directly to groundnut inspections. Furthermore, over and above the aforementioned questions, the Chairperson raised a number of additional queries.

        The Chairperson further reported that on the 13th of January 2017, a notice in the Government Gazette was published on the respective fees for 2017, as noted as annexure C in the pack. This publication had been anticipated as per the timeline provided by Leaf Services, with the fee publication first, and then the approved DAFF procedures. The Chairperson then engaged with Leaf Services confirming that the forum was not in a position to comment on the published fees, as all the outstanding queries had remained unanswered.

        It was noted that the Chairperson had been invited to a stakeholder group workshop on the 27th of February 2017, where all comments received will be discussed. The Chairperson had accepted the invitation and would advise members of the outcome thereafter.

  8. Matters arising

    1. Crop and Area Estimates

      Ms Scheepers presented her report on crop and area estimates for the 2015/2016 production season. A document was circulated to the meeting indicating that a Crop Estimates Liaison Committee meeting was held on 10 February 2017. The 2016 crop size of ground nuts amounted to 17 680 tons, 62% lower than the final estimate of 18 850 tons, which was released in September 2016. The drop in crop size was predominantly affected by damages caused by wind factors.

      According to the preliminary report released by the Crop Estimates Committee on 26 January 2017, the area estimate of groundnuts for 2017 is 45 500 ha, which is 101.3% or 22 900 ha more than the 22 600 ha planted for the previous season. This was due to the season variations between planting. The largest areas planted with groundnuts for 2017 will be in the North West Province (50%) and followed by the Free State (31%).

      The preliminary area planted estimate for 2017 is 1.1% higher than the five year average area planted of 45 015 ha and 6.6% lower than the 10 year average area planted of 48 720 ha, as well as 29.3% lower than the 20 year average area planted of 74 388 ha.

      The members participated in discussion surrounding the current groundnut crop expected. It was important to note that the dry lands are split from the irrigated lands. This was due to the yield on irrigation areas being much higher.

      The Chairperson thanked the members involved in this initiative, as it greatly benefits the industry as a whole, to have the necessary information available to them. In response to a question, Mr Scholtemeijer replied that the graphs did give some indication of the profitable areas for groundnut crops going forward, but there are many factors to consider when it comes to pricing; to name but a few: unforeseen world price fluctuations and the current high price of meat. This is assumed to be due to the high price of maize. White Maize will be planted to assist in the decrease of animal feed prices.

      Mr Scholtemeijer reported that the nut business in the USA had doubled its prices due to their effective marketing strategy. He noted that people are drawn to eating healthier and the marketing campaign for almond nuts is specifically aimed at just that, a "low carbohydrates and good fats" strategy.

      Discussion was held surrounding the potential market for soybean in South Africa. Comment was made that the soybean is a healthy alternative to meat as a protein, and thus the soybean could be advertised successfully with the same approach on health benefits. The forum continued to discuss the various methods for effective advertising approaches that could be undertaken for soybean. The forum debated magazine, billboard, social media, website and TV advertising methods.

      The Chairperson thanked Mr Scholtemeijer and the forum members for their meaningful opinions with regard to the future nut industry. In conclusion, the Chairperson reiterated that the industry must learn from its mistakes and prevent similar misfortunes, such as the Aflatoxin incident being repeated. This was a definite project in the pipeline for the forum to tackle, and the Chairperson took it upon herself together with a work group, to review the above suggestions and come up with the initial strategy for an appropriate marketing plan in South Africa.


      1. The Chairperson undertook to establish a work group to review the appropriate options for the potential marketing strategy in South Africa.


    2. SAGIS: General feedback and market information

      A presentation on the SAGIS (South African Grain Information Service) general feedback and market update was presented by Mr Hawkins. Mr Hawkins outlined the supply and demand figures for the last season, which included the period from March to December 2016.

      Mr Hawkins' report included detail on import and export quantities for the RSA 2016/2017 season; groundnut consumption; the 2016/2017 marketing year; supply and demand; as well as price movements for the period. National and international closing stock for the current marketing season amounted to 2.3 million tonnes.

    3. PPECB Laboratory Services Groundnut Report

      This report would be held in abeyance till the next meeting, when additional aflatoxin research and testing had been undertaken.

  9. Research

    1. Research Projects: 2017/2018 Financial Year

      An update on the research projects for the 2017/2018 financial year was tabled in the pack. The Chairperson informed the meeting that Mr Keun provided an overview of projects being financed or supported with regard to groundnuts in this report. She continued to provide a quick update on each project.

      Mr Scholtemeijer pointed out that participants of the oilseeds industry could become members of GFADA and undertake GFADA's groundnut approach to training. After a question from Mr Scholtemeijer on this project, Mr Keun responded that the mentoring of groundnut farmers was a separate project to the GFADA project, and a business plan was awaited in this regard. The role players were ready to start the project, but the relevant government department had not cooperated. Mr Keun was hopeful that the project would start by the end of 2017. The involvement with GFADA was specifically aimed at farmer development and benefited the Oilseed industry in particular.

      Mr Keun reported that the first income and cost budgets for summer crops would be available in late August / beginning of September 2017. The Chairperson thanked Mr Keun and Mr Scholtemeijer on their concerted efforts in this regard.

  10. Additional matters

    1. Articles

      Articles of interest were taken as read, and included the drop in groundnut production, groundnut production challenges, a copy of the latest FarmBiz brochure, as well as the Southeast FarmPress edition.

    2. Japan: Proposed MRL's

      A copy of the World Trade Organization Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures was tabled in the pack. The document was tabled and taken as read.

    3. Tariff Code: Blanched Groundnuts

      The Chairperson provided a brief update on the recent tariff code – blanched groundnuts - topic. In 2015, the Chairperson received feedback from the industry that SARS expected importers to clear their products under the old product code (heading 12/2008). In July 2015, a request was made to the World Custom Organisation (WCO) to consider this classification, and provide a clear viewpoint from the WCO. The request was declined by the WCO. At that point the WCO decided that the technical issues surrounding the classification were not a straightforward administrative procedure. There were six rules that the WCO used to decide when a product was being classified. On review of the six rules it was realised the wording of the different subheadings did not provide a clear indication. The WCO then advised that they would review the actual characteristics of the product, and proceed from there. A meeting was held with three volunteer countries, Japan, Korea and USA, to consider the matter in depth. These countries advised that they would use the samples, do an analysis, and compare it to the raw product. The primary criteria used for these tests were organoleptic properties, moisture, enzyme activity and nitrogen solubility indexes.

      The above countries reverted on 26 October 2016 with the results of these tests. The results and findings were made available and were circulated to all of the Forum Members of WCO. It became clear to the members of that committee that there were differences comparing raw to blanched groundnuts. As there was disagreement at that meeting, the discussions were very lengthy. However a vote was taken and 2016/19 voted for classification under 2008. Once this result was circulated, Europe and the USA expressed disagreement with the result. After the October 2016 meeting, member countries had two months to lodge any reservations, which were lodged specifically from the USA. The reason for this was not the physical and technical issues; but the actual tariff that had been attached to these tariff headings. In this case under the section 12 heading there would be a zero rate, but this would change to an 11/12% increase under the 2008 Heading, which would need to be added. For the USA, this was a major economical factor. A further meeting was scheduled for sometime in March 2017 to discuss the tariff headings once again.

      SARS would stand with what had been decided until a final decision had been taken as to whether it would fall back to Heading 2008. Currently SARS would continue to operate under Heading 12. Currently all importers had to operate under Heading 12.

      The forum debated the above matter. In the industry there were different sectors and each sector had their own viewpoint on this issue. It was encouraged to remain objective regarding whatever decision was finally made at an international level.

    4. Draft Standards and Requirements for Feed Exports

      The document was circulated to all the members. The Chairperson felt that members should take note as they were not a huge exporter of groundnut related feed.

    5. Update on Armyworm Epidemic

      Discussion was held surrounding this rapidly rising epidemic, which not only existed in maize, but also in groundnut and sunflowers. It was further reported that the epidemic was now found in the ground soil as well as the actual plants, and that emergency spray listed products had been utilised to combat the epidemic in soil. Mr Keun advised that emergency registrations had been undertaken to control the situation from spreading any further, and he was tasked with obtaining a list of emergency registrations from the Office of the Registrar, for information purposes.

    6. Producer Grading Guidelines

      Mr Wegner from the PPECB provided an informative presentation on the process of oilseed producer grading. The producer grading used to be handled by the Oilseeds Board, but once the Oilseeds Board was dismantled, the PPECB became the new owner of the guidelines. Mr Wagner advised that up until late 2016 the Oilseed grading guideline was being utilised, but there was a need in the market to include more aspects into the guidelines. Ultimately, a consistent reward for similar graded qualities was the goal of the grading process. He reported that the principles of previous grading were maintained as a choice grade and a crushing grade. However, going forward, it was decided that producers would be rated on the quality of their oilseeds and rewarded accordingly. This new grading information would be included in all future training courses. Mr Wagner reported that there would also be a greater focus on bulk handling losses going forward.

    7. SA Groundnut Cultivar Evaluations

      A presentation on the elite cultivar evaluations project was presented to the forum by Mr L de Kock. The project would be undertaken on an annual basis, and would ultimately focus on registered cultivars and evaluation of such cultivars.

      There was a need for registered cultivars to be evaluated once a year and a programme in conjunction with the LNR had been implemented. After agreement at the meeting, the necessary seeds were distributed to the parties involved, which included three cultivars from Golden Peanut and one from Triotrade.

      These results would be published once a year to the industry, and as such seed growers could gather relevant information for their growth programme. All companies' registered cultivars would be included in the survey. The project would analyse the information over a 4-year period, which information could be disseminated to the benefit of all involved in the groundnut industry.

      In conclusion, the Chairperson thanked Mr De Kock for his explanatory and useful presentation and wished the project much success in the upcoming years.

  11. Meeting dates for 2017

    The following meeting dates were scheduled for the remainder of 2017:

    • 3 June 2015 (Potchefstroom)
    • 28 October 2015
  12. Adjournment

    There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 12h55. The Chairperson thanked the forum members for their attendance and valuable input to the meeting.