OPDT   OIL & PROTEIN SEEDS DEVELOPMENT TRUST
OAC   OILSEEDS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

OPDT
OIL & PROTEIN SEEDS DEVELOPMENT TRUST

OAC
OILSEEDS ADVISORY COMMITTEE


Minutes

SA Groundnut Forum (SAGF)
held on 20 July 2006 at 10:00 at the offices of the Oilseeds Industry, Rivonia

  1. Opening

    The meeting was opened with a prayer by dr Dreyer.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairman heartily welcomed everyone.

  3. Attendance

    Present

    Mr JCG du Preez Chairman
    Dr J Dreyer ARC-GCI
    Mr CJ Wegner PPECB
    Mr G Keun OPDT
    Mr GA de Witt SA Peanut Company
    Ms AG Enslin SAGIS
    Mr CJ Lourens RE Groundnuts
    Mr H Jansen GSA
    Mrs L Moolman NAMC
    Mr WA Loubser SANSOR
    Mr BJ Vorster NWK
    Ms AE Pretorius ARC-GCI
    Ms L Salomon ARC-GCI
    Mr GJH Scholtemeijer OAC
    Ms M Edwards NOLA
    Ms M Shange NDA
    Mr M Mosome NDA
    Mr RW Higgs Triotrade
    Mr GC Nortjé GWK
    Mr N Fouché Secretariat

    Apologies

    Mr N Hawkins Grain SA
    Mr J Potgieter Grain SA
    Mr PG Louw Grain Silo Industry
    Mr DJ Kok Grain Silo Industry
    Mrs R Beukes Department of Agriculture
    Mr A Cronjé Tiger Brands
    Ms L Louw Tiger Brands
    Mr J Cohn OLAM SA
    Dr J Swanevelder SANNIC
    Ms A van Deventer SA Peanut Company
    Mr K van den Berg NWK Beperk
    Mr A Bosman PPECB
    Mr H Koen Triotrade
  4. Personalia

    None.

  5. Finalising the agenda

    The following items were added to the agenda:

    • Item 9.7 – Breeding material
    • Item 7.8 – ARC-GCI presentation: Yield potential and groundnut varieties
  6. Approval of minutes

    1. Approval of the minutes of the SA Groundnut Forum meeting held on 18 April 2006

      Resolved:

      1. That the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum which was held on 18 April 2006 be approved.
  7. Matters arising

    1. Good agricultural and processing practices

      The Chairman mentioned that the Groundnut Traders and Processors' Association (GTPA), according to resolution 7.1.1 of 18 April 2006, would have discussed the promotion and implementation of the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) document with those processors that did not buy the GMP document. It was amongst others also decided at the previous Forum meeting, that a single promotional document for overseas roleplayers would be compiled with core information of GAP and GMP and that the GAP and GMP documents would be published on the oilseed industry's official website. Mr Lourens said that the GTPA had not finalised the GMP document as yet.

      Mr De Witt said that the GMP document consists of list of standards, which will be of little use on the website. He said that information forthcoming from the discrepancy analysis will not be made public.

      Dr Dreyer said it is important to inform overseas roleplayers that the South African industry operates according to a certain set of rules. He seconded a proposal made by mr Scholtemeijer, that the Marketing Working Group should take responsibility for the drafting of a promotional document and publication of the relevant information on the website. Mr De Witt said that international roleplayers want information about the broad principles applied by a country's industry. As a prerequisite for the conducting of the discrepancy analysis, a document had to be compiled that define a set of standards. Extracts from that document, consisting of some 30 pages, can be made available to the Forum for publication. He said that the document was approved by the independent audit officer and that it therefore complied with the requirements in terms of the BRC.

      Mr Scholtemeijer suggested that the international roleplayers, to whom the promotional document is to be sent, must be identified and listed. He questioned the previous decision taken under 7.1.4 because the Forum owns the GAP document. The Chairman agreed and mentioned that GSA is responsible for administering the GAP document.

      Mr De Witt reported that no progress was made with the company CMI with the purpose to draft a transport document. However, it was learned that Codex Alimentarius was compiling such a document, which is envisaged to be finalised by the end of 2006. Mr Wegner mentioned that the transport requirements appear on the Department of Agriculture's website, which can be applied as such. Requirements for a co-operative packhouse is also published on this site. These requirements form part of PPECB's existing audit programmes. He said the exercise as mentioned under decision 7.1.5 of the previous minutes will assist in establishing those aspects not covered in the NDA's transport control list.

      Resolved:

      1. That the Marketing Working Group of the Forum will draft a promotional document, containing core information of GAP and GMP.

        Marketing Working Group

      2. That the international roleplayers to whom the promotional document is intended to be sent, must be identified and listed.

        Marketing Working Group

      3. That the Marketing Working Group will take responsibility for publication of information about GAP and GMP on the oilseed industry's websites.

        Marketing Working Group

      4. That Mr De Witt's offer to make some information available to the Forum from a document that defines a set of standards for GAP auditing, is accepted with gratitude.

        Mr DeWitt

      5. That supplementing of the NDA's transport document with requirements of CMI, will be investigated by a relevant working group of the Forum.

        Relevant Working Group of the Forum

    2. Government Notice R1145: Department of Health

      Minutes of the meeting held with the Department of Agriculture and peanut butter manufacturers were included in the agenda. The recommendations of that meeting were presented for discussion:

      • Recommendation 6.1 – That the SA Groundnut Forum is requested to decide that the Department of Health must apply its regulations strictly in order to minimize the risks involved in peanut butter.

        The meeting endorsed this recommendation.

      • Recommendation 6.2 – That the SA Groundnut industry must identify steps to minimize the supply of aflatoxin infested groundnut consignments to the processing industry.

        Mr Jansen supported by mr Lourens, said that aflatoxin did not pose a major threat to the industry during the past three years. He warned that over-exaggeration of the problem can cause the industry harm. Mr Higgs said if the producers are going to be penalised for aflatoxin-containing consignments, they will easily opt to plant either maize or sunflower.

        Mr Lourens said the Department of Health should be challenged to impose and enforce sound procurement procedures for products such as peanut butter. He said that the much discussed aflatoxin peanut butter most probably contained groundnuts from foreign origin. The Chairman emphasized the fact that aflatoxin is a contentious issue with the Department of Health and that the local industry should proactively combat it.

        Mr Jansen argued that the consumer should be allowed to exercise his right to choose between aflatoxin-free and aflatoxin-containing products, whilst the facts regarding aflatoxin should also be conveyed to the consumer. He used the example of the consumer making informed choices to smoke or not. Mrs Moolman rejected that argument.

        The meeting endorsed the above-mentioned recommendation.

      • Recommendation 6.3 – That it is recommended to the SA Groundnut Forum to request the Minister to list peanut butter manufacturers under HACCP.

        The meeting endorsed the recommendation.

      • Recommendation 6.4 – That Mr Pretorius (DoH) will request "Port Health" to introduce procedures so that approved groundnut consignments could be released quicker.

        The Chairman said that he wrote a letter in this regard to the DoH and that Mr Pretorius informed the Forum that he requested "Port Health" as per decision. The meeting endorsed the recommendation.

      • Recommendation 6.5 – That the SA Groundnut Forum will query the laboratory costs of the Department of Health, with mrs Kotzenberg of the DoH.

        The Chairman said an answer was still awaited from mrs Kotzenberg. The meeting endorsed the recommendation.

      • Recommendation 6.6 – That the SA Groundnut Forum will be requested to promote morality and ethics amongst the industry roleplayers by means of an educational process.

        The meeting endorsed the recommendation.

      • Recommendation 6.7 – That the SA Groundnut Forum will be requested to remind first buyers of groundnuts of their responsibility, that proper contracting should concluded with producers.

        Messrs Jansen and Lourens pointed out that there is no obligation on any buyer to contract with producers. The meeting agreed that the Forum cannot prescribe the contractual relationship between buyer and seller and therefore rejected the recommendation.

      Resolved:

      1. That the following recommendations of the meeting held with the Department of Health and importers are endorsed:
        • That the SA Groundnut Forum is requested to decide that the Department of Health must apply its regulations strictly in order to minimize the risks involved in peanut butter.
        • That the SA Groundnut industry must identify steps to minimize the supply of aflatoxin infested groundnut consignments to the processing industry.
        • That it is recommended to the SA Groundnut Forum to request the Minister to list peanut butter manufacturers under HACCP.
        • That mr Pretorius (DoH) will request "Port Health" to introduce procedures so that approved groundnut consignments could be released quicker.
        • That the SA Groundnut Forum will query the laboratory costs of the Department of Health, with mrs Kotzenberg of the DoH.
        • That the SA Groundnut Forum will be requested to promote morality and ethics amongst the industry roleplayers by means of an educational process.
      2. That the following recommendation of the meeting held with the Department of Health and importers are not endorsed, because the Forum cannot prescribe the contractual relationship between buyer and seller: That the SA Groundnut Forum will be requested to remind first buyers of groundnuts of their responsibility, that proper contracting should be concluded with producers.
    3. Sustainability of the groundnut industry

      The Management Committee's report was included in the agenda for discussion. Mr De Witt said the purpose of the proposed working groups is to deal with the various disciplines more effectively. He said that the reaction time at present is too long and that important issues are brought forward from one agenda to another. The meeting decided that the matter relating to the structure of the Forum must be referred to the Management Committee for a proposal at the next meeting.

      The Chairman suggested that in order to stabilise the industry, a working group must make proposals to the Forum, how to obtain sustainable groundnut production. Ms Moolman mentioned that the NAMC has established a unit that promotes international competitiveness for local industries. Mrs Edwards suggested that each role-player accept its own responsibility to apply the existing protocols and not to bother the Forum with the issue. Mr Lourens said that most contracts do address aflatoxin but that contracts cannot prescribe production practices.

      Resolved:

      1. That the matter relating to the structure of the Forum is referred to the Management Committee for a proposal at the next meeting.

        Management Committee

      2. That a delegation consisting of the Chairman, mr Lourens and mr De Witt (with the right of co-optation) must meet with the NAMC to investigate the possibility of establishing a working group, with the view to improve the competitiveness of the South African Groundnut industry.

        Chairman

    4. Chemical residues

      The Chairman said that a letter of advice is annually circulated to inform the industry roleplayers of the chemical products that can be used for groundnuts and that certain other detailed information is also provided, such as tolerance levels. The person employed by Du Pont (previously from Syngenta), still renders this service to the industry. The draft document for the planting season at hand, will be referred to the Chemical Working Group of the Forum, as usual.

    5. Foreign matter

      The matter stands adjourned.

      Resolved:

      1. That the matter regarding "foreign matter" stands adjourned.

        Mr Keun

    6. Draft export standards and requirements for groundnuts

      The Chairman mentioned that the Forum's comments to the "Draft Export Standards and Requirements for Groundnuts" as listed under decisions 9.2.1 to 9.2.8 of the previous minutes, were sent to the Department of Agriculture. Regarding clause 35 of the draft regulations, it was agreed with the Department that only rejected containers that must be destroyed or sent away from the country must be reported to the Department. The Department will periodically keep the Forum informed of the reasons and number for rejections.

    7. Food safety forum

      The Chairman said that no meeting of the Food safety Forum was held lately.

    8. ARC-GCI: Yield possibilities and groundnut varieties

      Ms Alana Pretorius (Plant breeder at the ARC-GCI) explained the ARC-GCI's breeding programme and the traits of the various breeding lines and varieties. The meeting decided that the ARC-GCI must conduct trials with groundnut types that have better overseas marketing potential and which can provide improved yields. Mr Nortjé said that plots can be made available in his area for "strookproewe". The Chairman said that the industry has to revisit the market needs in order to adapt the breeding programme accordingly. Mr Jansen said that higher yields must be obtained at the same cost. Mr Wegner proposed that the Marketing Working Group attend to this issue.

      Resolved:

      1. That the ARC-GCI's intention to conduct trials with groundnut types that have better overseas marketing potential and which can provide improved yields, is supported.

        Dr Dreyer

      2. That the Marketing Working Group must make proposals to the Forum with regard to the direction of the groundnut breeding programme, based on marketing potential and production yields at the same cost of production.

        Marketing Working Group

  8. Industry information and marketing aspects

    1. General feedback and market information

      The meeting took note of SAGIS' reports as included in the agenda and handed out at the meeting. Mrs Enslin mentioned that the groundnut stock level is at its lowest since SAGIS started to keep groundnut statistics in 1998. Regarding SAGIS' initiative to investigate the possible incorporation of information regarding groundnut production for biofuel, the meeting unanimously accepted that such information is not needed, because it was not envisaged that groundnuts would be used for this purpose to a significant extent.

      1. Calculation of import and export parity prices for groundnuts

        Mrs Enslin mentioned that meetings were held with Grain SA and SA Peanut Company, following the previous decision, to base import parity on a country from where groundnuts are imported mostly. Mr De Witt said that groundnuts are imported from mainly four countries, of which the prices differ drastically. In order to calculate a FOB price, the product price and freight tariff information have to be sourced from groundnut importers. Huge differences in freight tariffs exist because regular importers get favourable prices. In order to calculate a producer price, processing costs have to be known. He said that he is however still in the process of finding solutions to propose an acceptable calculation method.

        Mr Scholtemeijer suggested that one country must be identified in order to have a fixed base. Mr Jansen said there are many variables to consider, such as production methods of the countries and proposed that Grain SA make inputs in this regard. He said the purpose of an import price should first be clarified and that such a price may distort the extremely vulnerable market. Mr Scholtemeijer said that market prices have nothing to do with production costs, but that it is derived from international factors.

        Resolved:

        1. That Grain SA be requested to make suggestions for the calculation of an import parity price for groundnuts.

          Mr Keun

    2. Crop and Area estimates

      Mr De Witt said according to SAGIS' figures for commercial delivery for the three months 1 March to 31 May 2006, the Crop Estimates Committee's figure is apparently too high. Mrs Moolman mentioned that the Crop Estimates Liaison Committee will meet on 28 September 2006, where roleplayers can discuss any problems and requirements regarding crop estimates. The meeting noted the Crop Estimates Committee's report of 20 June 2006:

      2005/2006 2004/2005
      Area estimate (ha) 48 550 40 000
      Final production estimate (tons) 72 600 64 000
      1,50 t/ha 1,50 t/ha

      The Chairman said that the Forum's Crop Estimates Committee got imputs from industry that varied between 60 000 ton and 73 000 tons. The meeting noted that there was an increasing trend of farmers who process groundnuts for human consumption. The Chairman suggested that GSA be approached to do a survey in this regard. Mrs Moolman suggested enquiring to what extent the Crop Estimates Committee could assist in collating such figures.

      Resolved:

      1. That Grain SA will be requested to advise the Forum on the extent to which producers process groundnuts on farm level.

        Mr Keun

      2. That the Crop Estimates Committee will be requested to assist with the collation of information regarding the processing of groundnuts for human consumption by producers.

        Mr Keun

  9. Additional items

    1. Status of the SA Groundnut Forum

      The Chairman said he consulted the NAMC, who advised that the Forum as presently constituted, is not a legal persona. Role-players that are in terms of the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act (MAP Act) registered with the NAMC as directly affected groups for the product: groundnuts and other roleplayers may on a voluntary basis take part in the Forum. The more roleplayers involved in the Forum, the better representatively it has when dealing with Government and others. The NAMC also advised that the Forum enjoys recognition of Government as an industry body.

    2. UNECE peanut kernel and inshell standard

      The Chairman said that the NDA has referred the EU's request for inputs on the said document to the Forum. The latter requested its members for inputs and mr Keun said that he received none. Noted.

    3. Consumer bill

      The Chairman mentioned that the Consumer Bill will have far-reaching implications in terms of marking and labelling requirements. He urged the members to take note of this document.

    4. Report of Department of Health: peanut butter

      The issue was discussed under item 7.2.

    5. Radio programme

      The Chairman invited the members to make use of the radio programme if they want to convey topical matters relevant to any discipline of the industry.

    6. "Gedragskode: grondbonebedryf"

      The Chairman requested that the included document "Code of Conduct and Business Ethics for the South African Groundnut Forum" be perused for discussion at the next meeting.

      Resolved:

      1. That the document "Code of Conduct and Business Ethics for the South African Groundnut Forum" must be perused for discussion at the next meeting.

        Members

    7. Breeding material

      Dr Dreyer requested that persons, who want to order breeding material, must register their requirements with him as soon as possible but not later than 30 August 2006.

      Resolved:

      1. That orders for breeding material must reach dr Dreyer by not later than 30 August 2006.

        Members

    8. Information by PPECB

      From a publication of PPECB, it was noted that:

      • The Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) of the EU will visit South Africa during 3-14 October 2006 with the view to evaluate control systems for pesticide residues in foodstuffs of plant origin.
      • The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on sampling and analysis of agricultural products of plant origin to determine agro-chemical residue levels and risk management as part of export inspection and certification in terms of the Agricultural Product Standards Act has been revised in May 2006 to allow for a national risk based auditing of chemical residues in regulated agricultural products. PPECB, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Agriculture's laboratories and the industries have a shared responsibility to implement, manage and perform the functions depicted in the SOP that falls under the Agricultural Products Standards Act, (Act 119 of 1990).
  10. Meeting dates

    The next Forum meeting was scheduled for 8 November 2006.

  11. Adjournment

    The Chairman thanked all the members for their attendance and inputs. He adjourned the meeting at 15:30.