SA Groundnut Forum (SAGF)
held on 18 July 2018 at 10:00 at the offices of the Oilseeds Industry, 49 River Road, Woodmead

  1. Opening

    Mr Scholtemeijer opened the meeting with a prayer.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson welcomed all present at the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum and reminded the meeting that the roles and conduct and guidelines as set out in the forum's Terms of Reference will apply.

  3. Attendance


    Ms A Botha Chairperson
    Mr G Scholtemeijer OAC
    Mr H Lazarus LB Nuts
    Mr CJ Wegner PPECB
    Ms N Mnonopi PPECB
    Mr H Engelbrecht PPECB
    Ms M Scheepers DAFF
    Mr R Mommsen C Steinweg Bridge
    Mr M Fouseca GroCapital
    Mr S Sathaar Thokoman Foods
    Mr J Greeff Golden Peanut
    Mr PA Visser Golden Peanut
    Mr P van Wyk VGM
    Mr C Louw Grain SA
    Mr G Bruwer Grain SA
    Mr L de Kock Roba Foods
    Mr W Snijman ARC Grain Crops Institute
    Mr T Clark RCL Foods
    Mr G Keun Chief Executive Officer


    Mr R Nerwich Botnim TDG
    Mr S Heilbron PPECB
    Mr P van Heerden PPECB
    Mr O Msimanga PPECB
    Mr N Hawkins SAGIS
    Ms P Campbell DOH
    Ms L Müller Triotrade
    Mr GC Nortjé GWK
    Mr T Prinsloo ARC Grain Crops Institute
    Mr C van Zyl Triotrade
    Ms R Beukes DAFF

    Mr Keun explained the revised format of the attendance register, as well as the reasons why the attendance register had to be revised, which is mainly for members to give permission to the office to send correspondence via email.

  4. Personalia


  5. Finalisation of agenda

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

    • Item 7.7 – HACCP/BRC
    • Item 10.6 – Re-exporting of Imported Groundnuts
    • Item 10.7 – SAMSA Verified Gross Mass
    • Item 10.8 – Visit by Japan Government
    • Item 10.9 – World Trade Organisation (WTO): Renewal of Thirum
    • Item 10.10 – Transparent Price Discovery Mechanism
  6. Approval of minutes

    The minutes of the meeting held on 15 February 2018 were approved as a true reflection of the proceedings.


    1. That the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum held on 15 February 2018 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 15/02/2018)

        The Chairperson said that the previous meeting resolved that additional time be allocated for Forum members to provide comment on the draft document referring to the information about registered cultivars.

        It was noted that the document had been finalised and would be published on the web page of the Oil and Protein Seeds Development Trust/Oilseeds Advisory Committee (www.opot.co.za).

        The Chairperson explained that all relevant information in respect of the registered cultivars were included in the brochure. The document was user-friendly and would be beneficial to new entrants in the groundnut production industry, as well as development farmers.

      2. Groundnut Symposium

        The Chairperson suggested that the matter stand over to be discussed at a future meeting.

      3. Farmers' Day

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

      4. National school nutritional programme

        The Chairperson mentioned that the reintroduction of peanut butter into the national school nutrition programme was a long-term project and part of the Strategic Industry Plan.

        The Chairperson also mentioned that according to information received, peanut butter is still registered as part of the school feeding schemes. The information received was also confirmed by other parties.

        Cognisance was taken of the contents of the "Report on the Implementation Evaluation of the National School Nutrition Programme – 16 September 2016", included in the agenda as Annexure B.

        During the discussion of the matter it was mentioned that:

        • Peanut butter is only included in some of the menus, specifically where the schools have cold menus; and
        • Peanut butter was not frequently used by schools with a hot menu.

        Mr Lazarus inquired about the use of peanut paste and emphasised the market opportunity, perhaps also the marketing thereof. He also referred to the possibility of peanut nutrition bars and marketing opportunities of such bars at mines.

        The Chairperson said that there was a lot of scope for groundnut marketing in South Africa.

    2. LEAF services

      (Resolutions 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 15/02/2018)

      The Chairperson mentioned all the necessary input by Forum members in respect of the matter. She said that no progress had been made and no feedback was received from either DAFF, Leaf Services or SGS.


      1. That Forum members be kept informed of any progress relating to discussions about LEAF Services/SGS.

        Mr Keun

    3. Tariff codes on blanched groundnuts

      The Chairperson 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.

      1. Import tariffs

        The Chairperson mentioned that during the previous meeting of the Forum the subject of import tariffs were touched on, but not discussed in detail.

        It was mentioned that there were import tariffs for raw material but not for secondary products. The Chairperson said that the possibility of an increase in import tariffs on peanut butter and roasted peanuts, as proposed by some members, must be addressed. She further said import tariffs could have a major impact on the industry, but with all the uncertainty about the matter it might be a good idea to do an independent study to ensure that any proposed changes would be to the benefit and security of all sectors in the industry.

        The Chairperson mentioned that she and Mr Keun had a discussion with BFAP in this regard and if the Forum were to approve the idea, BFAP could submit a project proposal to do such an independent study – considering that they already have knowledge of the industry. Funding of the project must be motivated at the Oilseeds Advisory Committee.

        Mr Visser expressed the view that such a study was important and might impact on the growth of the industry. Mr Louw was of the opinion that the study would definitely assist in clarifying issues in respect of import tariffs, subject to including tariffs on raw peanuts and address the issue of secondary products without tariffs.


        1. That BFAP be requested to submit a project proposal in respect of import tariffs on groundnuts.

          Mr Keun

    4. GAP Audits

      (Resolution 7.4.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 15/02/2018)

      The Chairperson referred the meeting to the letter, dated 23 May 2018, included in the agenda as Annexure C.

      The Chairperson said the mentioned letter had been circulated to all Forum members and summarised the discussions held with DAFF on 11 May 2018. She emphasised the following matters included in the mentioned letter:

      • Purpose of the discussion
      • Issues raised by industry regarding GAP audits
      • Statements accepted and supported by industry
      • Considerations from 2011 EU: FVO report to be taken into account
      • The way forward.

      Mr Lazarus expressed the view that processors be made responsible for providing all necessary documentation proving audited producers, because in order to export to Europe they must ensure that producers comply with good agricultural practices.

      The Chairperson referred to the way forward and mentioned that it was agreed that the Overview Committee established in 2013 be called upon to consider the current status and submit recommendations on the way forward. During the proposed discussions it was mentioned that the industry needed to submit suggestions that might serve as the basis for a practical solution.

      During the discussion of the matter, members of the Forum raised various arguments and made suggestions to improve the current GAP audit system. Some of the matters raised were the realignment of the checklist in order to focus on matters relating to aflatoxin issues and MRLs, but also to exclude less important issues.

      The possibility of shifting the audit responsibility to the processors was raised yet again. The Chairperson said that if such a system were to be approved, it would probably result in audits for the first three years to establish the risk profiles, followed by two spot checks etc.

      The members agreed to request DAFF to organise a meeting of the Overview Committee to consider the current status of the GAP audits, consider alternative systems and submit recommendations on the way forward.


      1. That DAFF be requested to organise a meeting of the Overview Committee to consider the current status of the GAP audits, consider alternative systems and submit recommendations on the way forward.

        Mr Keun

    5. Japanese delegation visit

      (Resolutions 7.5.1 and 7.5.2 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 15/02/2018)

      The Chairperson referred the meeting to the resolution of the previous Forum meeting – "That contact be made with Japan to organise the proposed visit of a South African delegation."

      The Chairperson confirmed that contact was made with one of the two peanut councils in Japan. They requested more information regarding the Forum, Forum members etc. The information was forwarded. They responded by saying they would be pleased to accommodate a delegation from South Africa.

      During further discussion of the matter it was mentioned that:

      • Forum members needed to give an indication of their interest to visit Japan;
      • Other organisations and institutions like Grain SA, DAFF, PPECB etc. needed to be approached to determine their interest;
      • September/October or February/March might be considered as the most suitable time for the visit;
      • The South African delegation consisted of not fewer than five(5) to ten(10) members;
      • The message of the delegation should be generic, emphasising the technological advancement / developments and high standards of food safety.

      After discussion of the matter, it was agreed that at the next meeting a final decision must be made about the visit to Japan to confirm the visit and to start planning the trip arrangements.


      1. That at the next meeting a final decision be made about the visit to Japan to confirm the visit and to start planning the trip arrangements.

        Mr Keun

    6. Imports, Quality and Aflatoxin Control

      (Resolution 10.5.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 15/02/2018)

      The Chairperson referred to a letter dated 20 March 2018 addressed to the Department of Health (DOH) regarding the matter. She said it was quite frustrating, as the industry did not receive any feedback or clarity from the said department in respect of actions taken by the department about imports and local inspections. The import of peanut butter was raised specifically.

      The Chairperson mentioned that the above-mentioned letter had been resent on 26 April 2018 and 24 May 2018. On 28 May 2018, a response was received indicating that the matter had been referred to Mr Thabete for his attention and he would respond as soon as possible, especially in respect of procedures for border post imports.

      Members explained the procedures followed when they export products and expressed the view that there were no reasons for not implementing the same procedures for imports. They argued that slurry points were available or that infrastructure could be made available at specific points if necessary.

      Mr Lazarus was of the opinion that if the bigger role players committed to using a slurry point in Durban when importing, their example would make it easier to enforce the same procedures for other role players.

      The Chairperson requested PPECB's opinion about the matter. Mr Engelbrecht said that preliminary talks had been held to make infrastructure available. The Chairperson said that DOH must also commit to enforcing the procedure for all the role players.


      1. That the Department of Health be requested to comment on possible procedures in respect of border post imports.

        Mr Keun

    7. HACCP / BRC

      Mr Van Wyk requested clarity regarding the applicability of HACCP and the existence thereof.

      The Chairperson said that according to her knowledge HACCP was an important standard and HACCP certification remained very important and beneficial. She said that HACCP was a statutory standard in terms of R707 of the Department of Health.

      Members expressed the view that they had been advised to switch to BRC.

      The Chairperson said that the matter needed clarification and she undertook to contact the Control Union and DAFF to obtain clarification.


      1. That Control Union and DAFF be contacted to obtain clarification about of the status of HACCP and BRC.

        Mr Keun

  8. Industry information and marketing aspects

    (Resolution 8.1.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 15/02/2018)

    1. Crop and area estimates

      The contents of the report about the preliminary area planted and 5th production forecast for summer crops, dated 27 June 2018, received from the Crops Estimates Committee, were noted.

      Ms Marda Scheepers proceeded with a detailed presentation of the groundnut crop and area estimates. During the presentation, Ms Scheepers addressed the question of distinguishing between dry land production and production under irrigation, providing detailed irrigation production information since 2010. She also confirmed that in future both an area and yield survey would be done, followed up in April and July, with the final survey in September.

      The Chairperson thanked Ms Scheepers for the information presented and continued interaction with role players in the Groundnut Industry. She added that the track record of the NCEC speaks for itself.

    2. SAGIS: General feedback and market information

      The contents of the weekly and monthly information, included as Annexure E, were noted.

      Cognisance was taken of the updated information about the groundnut market tabled during the meeting.

    3. PPECB Laboratory Services: Groundnut Report

      (Resolution 8.3.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 15/02/2018)

      Mr Engelbrecht presented the groundnut volumes that were analysed.

      Mr Engelbrecht commented on the meeting between himself, the Chairperson and Mr Keun about the possibility of distinguishing between locally produced and imported product. He referred to the information currently included in the weekly report and the fact that the report contains data for 20 and 30kg samples received. He also mentioned that many of the local companies submit 10kg samples. Sometimes the imported groundnuts were also submitted as 10kg samples. As such these were not represented in the current report.

      Mr Engelbrecht confirmed that the current format of the report would be amended to include aflatoxin data for 10kg samples and even smaller samples that represent the imported stocks. He said that during the next Forum meeting the report would include data about imported goods, but he cautioned the meeting that it was not always possible to determine whether the products were imports or not from the data that the PPECB receives from the customers.

      The Chairperson confirmed the discussion with PPECB. She said that, according to information available, a very small percentage of the local market product was tested. Furthermore, it was difficult to determine which of the percentage produce tested was locally produced or imported.

      Members argued that a 10kg sample was not representative. The Chairperson said that buyers must therefore be made aware of the fact that they may be at risk if they were to accept a sample of 10kg only.

      The existing protocol in case of aflatoxin tests that are above the acceptable level was mentioned. Concerns were raised about reworked products and/or double testing of products that may be masking information. Mr Engelbrecht said that they were aware when products were tested for a second time and the information was excluded from the report.

  9. Research

    1. Research Projects: 2018/2019 financial year

      Mr Keun mentioned that during the previous meeting the list of research projects for the 2018/2019 financial year had been included in the agenda.

      Mr Keun further mentioned that consideration of research projects for the 2019/2020 financial year already started and that feedback would be given at the appropriate time.

    2. Feedback on cultivar evaluation project

      Mr De Kock gave feedback regarding the trials and referred to the challenges. He mentioned that fewer than planned trials were planted due to unforeseen circumstances.

    3. Breeding and seed propagation

      (Resolution 9.3.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 15/02/2018)

      The Chairperson referred the meeting to resolution 9.3.1 of the previous meeting – "That the Groundnut Industry prepare a priority list for breeding purposes." She said the list was compiled, circulated for comment and finalised. The list forwarded to the ARC included higher percentage yield kernels, nematode resistance, resistance to foliar diseases and drought tolerance as some of the priorities.

      The Chairperson also mentioned that the emphasis remained on Spanish type groundnuts and larger kernels, round shapes, colour and other characteristics that are particular to Spanish types. High oleic content was also mentioned, specifically to keep up with other groundnut producing countries and so was shell durability.

      Mr Louw said from a producer's point of view, yield was very important and producers must be able to market their product.

      The Chairperson referred to a meeting held with ARC regarding seed requirements, seed multiplications etc. ARC requested input from the industry to address challenges with the provision of seed and to plan ahead for at least the next five (5) years. Guidance with the seed scheme was an important issue during the said discussion. Industry needed to support the ARC in their efforts regarding breeding and the seed situation, because if it falls on the wayside the whole industry is at risk.

      The Chairperson said the structuring of future co-operation and support to the ARC was important to secure the availability of seed in future. Such a structure, the role players and their responsibilities and possible outsourcing of some functions still needed discussions.

      Cognisance must be taken of the fact that the fruit industry already had similar arrangements with ARC. The company would be contacted to get more information to facilitate progress with a groundnut arrangement. The Chairperson said funding remained something to be considered.

      Mr Scholtemeijer mentioned that the proposed arrangements with ARC must always be in line with competition legislation.

  10. Additional matters

    1. Snippets

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

    2. Zero VAT listing

      Cognisance was taken of a Special Committee that had been established by the Government to consider additional products to be added to the zero value list, to assist consumers with the extra burden of the VAT increase.

      The Chairperson mentioned that peanut butter had been submitted as a worthy product. The Consumer Union assisted in this regard.

      Progress regarding the matter would be reported during the next meeting.

    3. Listeria testing proposed by DAFF

      The communication from DAFF regarding listeria testing was noted.

      Mr Keun confirmed that the document had been circulated to all Forum members.

      The Chairperson mentioned a planned conference to be held on 29 and 30 May 2018, at Emperors Palace Convention Centre, focusing on listeria and food borne diseases.

    4. Articles

      The contents of the articles included in the agenda as Annexure I, were noted.

    5. Income and Cost Budgets

      Mr Keun reported that income and cost budgets were available on the website. He said the budgets now included groundnuts.

      Mr Keun said that these budgets would be updated annually by BFAP. The updated version was to be circulated as soon as it was made available.

    6. Re-exporting of imported groundnuts

      Mr Wegner referred to a case where imported groundnuts were re-exported. A rapid alert notification was received. He mentioned the lot was imported from Zambia, handled in a warehouse in Johannesburg and then exported. A ten (10) kg sample was drawn and analysed for the company's own purposes. The groundnuts were exported without the knowledge of PPECB. He said this was a serious problem for PPECB and DAFF. He emphasised that all groundnuts imported into South Africa and re-exported needed to go through the same process of export inspection.

      Mr Scholtemeijer said the question was whether it was in bond. If the lot was brought into the country and re-exported then you had a case, but if it was in bond you had no say over it.

    7. SAMSA verified gross mass

      The Chairperson referred to a discussion of the matter during a previous meeting of the Forum and gave a summary of the said discussion.

      Mr Lazarus explained to the meeting how he considered the regulations to be interpreted incorrectly when using method two. He referred to the unnecessary audits to obtain a certificate and the costs of the audits. According to him those could be dealt with more cost effectively and more easily if the interpretation of the regulations had been correct.

      After a lengthy discussion of the matter, the meeting agreed that the Chairperson should clarify the matter with SAMSA.


      1. That the Chairperson discuss the matter with SAMSA to provide a standard for the Groundnut Industry.


    8. Visit by Japan Government

      The Chairperson informed the meeting that Japan's Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare indicated to DAFF that they would like to visit South Africa during August/September and that they would focus on HACCP implementation in the groundnut, rooibos and citrus industries.

      The Chairperson said that final arrangements were being awaited. If those involved Forum members, they would be communicated timeously.

    9. World Trade Organisation (WTO): Renewal of Thirum

      The Chairperson thanked Mr Visser for informing the Groundnut Industry of the EU decision not to renew the registration of thirum in the EU.

      The Chairperson expressed the hope that DAFF would keep the industry informed should the MRL requirements also be amended in further (as might be expected) as thirum is critical for the South African industry as a seed treatment. GrainSA was also requested to assist by way of discussions at their Specialist Work Group and by requesting chemical companies to identify alternative agents.

      Mr Louw confirmed discussions with the Agrochemical companies in this regard.

      Mr Keun said that he was aware that SANSOR was also attending to the matter.

      Mr Visser said it was good to look for alternatives, but that it was also important to test the effectiveness of the alternative agents.

      The Chairperson said it seems as if the EU wanted to withdraw the registration of thirum because they were concerned about the way in which the agent was handled/treated, not necessarily about food safety issues.

    10. Transparent price discovery mechanism

      Mr Louw referred to the 2012 Groundnut Value Chain Study by BFAP and specifically the fact that no transparent price discovery mechanism existed for groundnuts in South Africa.

      Mr Louw said current import and export parity prices published by SAGIS were based on choice grade processed groundnuts. The needs expressed by producers related to import and export producer prices. He also elaborated on the reasons for and importance of such a price mechanism. Mr Louw requested the support of industry, specifically the processors, to assist with the basic average costs of processors. Mr Louw said the objective was to make available a minimum and maximum price that could be achieved.

      Possible dangers of such a model were mentioned, as well as the fact that the model could not propose a binding price.

  11. Date of next meeting

    It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on Tuesday, 30 October 2018.

  12. Adjournment

    There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 13h30.