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 3 June 2015 at 10:00 at Sellschop Building, ARC-GCI, 114 Chris Hani Street, Potchefstroom.

  1. Opening

    The meeting was opened with a prayer offered by Mr Paul van Wyk.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson welcomed all present to the meeting of the Groundnut Forum.

  3. Attendance

    Present

    Ms A van Deventer Chairperson
    Mr J Roux Safrinut
    Mr H Engelbrecht PPECB Lab
    Mr W van der Walt OAC and SANCU
    Ms L Solomon ARC-GCI
    Mr W Roux Safrinut
    Mr T Prinsloo ARC-GCI
    Mr JL Nienaber RE Groundnuts
    Mr P Sanford FR Waring
    Mrs P Campbell DoH
    Mr PA Visser Golden Peanut & Tree Nut SA
    Mr W Olivier Golden Peanut & Tree Nut SA
    Mr N Hawkins SAGIS
    Mr P Van Wyk VGM
    Mr H Lazarus LB Nuts
    Mr C Louw GrainSA
    Mr F Minnaar GrainSA
    Mr L de Kock Roba Foods
    Mr CJ Swanevelder Private
    Mr K Conradie Safrinut
    Mr N Wegner PPECB
    Mr P van Heerden PPECB
    Ms M Purnell Agbiz Grain
    Mr G Keun Secretary

    Apologies

    Mr GJH Schotemeijer OAC
    Mr C Nortje GWK
    Mr S Heilbron PPECB
    Mr P Burger OAC
    Ms R Beukes DAFF
    Ms M Scheepers DAFF
    Dr D Naicker PPECB
    Mr W Higgs Triotrade
    Dr M Visser GrainSA
    Dr G Thompson ARC
    Mr D Lindsey Golden Peanut & Tree Nut SA
  4. Personalia

    Nothing noted.

  5. Finalisation of agenda

    The agenda as tabled was approved with the following additions:

    • 8.3 – Report on Aflatoxin findings: PPECB Laboratory
    • 8.4 – Feedback: ICRISAT (Mr W vd Walt)
    • 9.2 – OPDT Website: Research
    • 10.5 – Information newsletter/communication:
      • Oilseed Magazine Circulation
      • Forum Communication
      • GrainSA request for funding for market report
    • 10.6 – Joint Food Safety Forum meetings feedback
    • 10.7 – Herbicide 2.4DB
    • 10.8 – SOP Aflatoxin results in terms of APS Regulations
    • 10.9 – Revision of Producer Grading Guidelines
    • 10.10 – Changes to Export Regulations (SADC Countries) in terms of R1026
  6. Approval of minutes

    1. Approval of the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum held on 29 October 2014

      The Chairperson, on behalf of the industry, thanked Mr Keun and his team for the professional preparation of minutes and meeting documents.

      Resolution:

      1. That the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum that was held on 10 March 2015 be accepted as a true and fair reflection of that meeting, subject to the above amendments.
  7. Matters arising from the previous meeting

    1. Farm Audits: PPECB

      Mr N Wegner (PPECB) reported that between eight and twelve farm audits had been done. Training had been undertaken at four selection plants between 10th and 26th March. The training was not as successful as hoped for; a large number of attendees were there (82) but there was a negative attitude which prevailed. Some selection plant managers do understand the necessity of the training measures and are willing to co-operate. On the negative side it was evident that many had not read the supplied checklist. Overall the training given was not a huge success.

      On a positive note two selection facilities appointed dedicated personnel to assist producers with the process of GAP administration. Producers are in general ready for the audits with selection plants understanding the importance of the process and showing the necessary support.

      In many cases there are still references to the GAP Checklists as being "new" standards, even though these have been in place for 18 months.

      Mr Wegner was of the opinion that this was a missed opportunity on learning why the principles are indeed appropriate and it seems that selection plant management, in most cases, remain hesitant to be part of the process and roll-out.

      Mr Louw (GrainSA) expressed appreciation for the contribution made by PPECB with regards to the training and indicated that another round of training might be considered in future as producers become more aware of the process.

      In respect of audits done after training, the outcomes overall of the audits were good. Where findings were made, these are being addressed. Problematic areas identified were the use and storage of chemicals and chemical advisory record keeping.

      In respect to a question raised by Mr Visser as to what action will be taken towards FBO's not complying with regulations, the Chairperson undertook to follow up on this matter with the relevant departmental contact persons and report back at the next meeting. The chair reminded the meeting that a request had been received from DoH as to advisement of non-compliant parties. All notifications in this respect made to the DoH will be done in strictest confidentiality.

      Resolution:

      1. That the Chairperson follow-up with relevant depart-ment contact persons in respect of action to be taken against those FBOs not complying with audit findings to be tabled at the next meeting.

        Chairperson

    2. Groundnut Yield Challenge

      The item will only be discussed at the next OAC meeting (July 2015).

    3. Combined Groundnut Farmers' Day

      The chair pointed out that if such a designated day is to be held, there must be a specific topic which would form the focus of the event. All members of the Forum were asked to propose relevant topics. Some suggested topics included:

      • The foreseen yield challenge.
      • The cultivar trail process.
      • Mechanization.
      • Role and need for GAP/Food Safety in the industry.

      Comments were made with regards to the timing of such a meeting; perhaps it should occur close to the annual Nampo event or even consider holding a practical session during this event.

      The matter will be discussed at the next OAC Meeting.

    4. Generic marketing and advertising

      The chair reported that a request for funding had been submitted. There is documentation available which details the type of campaigns envisaged.

      The matter of appointing a groundnut specialist remains on the agenda of the OAC.

    5. Statutory measures

      This item was removed from the agenda as it had been dealt with. Mr Keun confirmed that the necessary applications had been completed and that funding has been allocated.

  8. Industry information and marketing aspects

    1. SAGIS: general feedback and market information

      Mr Hawkins gave a detailed presentation on groundnut-related information compiled by SAGIS (the presentation is available on the SAGIS website). The following points were highlighted:

      • Exports April to March were 12 906 tonnes at a value of R12 856 per tonne.
      • Total value of imports R265 919.
      • Peanut butter – total tonnage imported 1 783 at a total value of R23 709 (this is less than imports for 2013/14).

      Prepared other:

      • Imported 4 434
      • Value R67 105
      • Value per tonne R15 134

      Firms registered with SAGIS:

      • Traders 35
      • Storers 3
      • Harbour silo owners 6
      • Processors 38

      Discussion:

      A short discussion was held as to the extent of the so called "informal market" where product is delivered by farmers directly to the small/informal traders network or to consumers, without being reported in the commercial chain (and therefore outside the SAGIS environment). Some members are of the opinion that this sector might be larger than previously anticipated and could, to a large extent, account for the changes between crop estimates and reported producer deliveries.

    2. Crop and area estimates

      The meeting took note of the latest Crop Estimate information that was supplied with the agenda documents.

    3. Report on Aflatoxin findings: PPECB Laboratory

      Mr Engelbrecht gave a presentation highlighting aflatoxin findings for the preceding period. Whilst this information is shared with industry at the behest of the FVO delegation, as agreed with DAFF, this information is not for publication. If requested the information can be made available on a wider basis, but the Chairperson cautioned against misinterpretation of the information if it is not carefully considered within the correct frame of reference. Care should also be taken to consider the information on a crop year basis.

      The presentation also highlighted FFA and peroxide testing as well as the commercial standards applied by many of the larger commercial clients. Mr Engelbrecht explained that these standards are usually stricter, allowing for further increased levels that can be expected to develop during processing, thus allowing sufficient margin for the final product to still fall within the maximum allowances. A question from a member, as to what level of FFA would result in rancidity being sensorial detected (tasted), was referred to PPECB for later comment.

    4. Feedback: ICRISAT

      Mr Engelbrecht gave a presentation highlighting aflatoxin findings for the preceding period. Whilst this information is shared with industry at the behest of the FVO delegation, as agreed with DAFF, this information is not for publication. If requested the information can be made available on a wider basis, but the Chairperson cautioned against misinterpretation of the information if it is not carefully considered within the correct frame of reference. Care should also be taken to consider the information on a crop year basis.

      The presentation also highlighted FFA and peroxide testing as well as the commercial standards applied by many of the larger commercial clients. Mr Engelbrecht explained that these standards are usually stricter, allowing for further increased levels that can be expected to develop during processing, thus allowing sufficient margin for the final product to still fall within the maximum allowances. A question from a member, as to what level of FFA would result in rancidity being sensorial detected (tasted), was referred to PPECB for later comment.

  9. Groundnut research

    1. Elite Cultivar Trials

      The Chairperson advised that the period between the previous SAGF meeting and the publication of the first Oilseeds magazine probably did not allow for sufficient time to prepare and place the articles contemplated during the previous meeting.

      Mr Keun also informed the meeting that during the previous OAC meeting a decision was taken that a further meeting will be scheduled at which Mr Scholtemeijer, Mr Keun and Ms Van Deventer will discuss the total trial process and projects as well as agree on what information can and should be shared with industry, taking care not to contravene any agreements that might exist with owners of cultivars. Feedback will be given at the next SAGF meeting in October.

      Ms Salomon gave a brief summary of the cultivar trials, without cultivar-specific detail, and mentioned the localities and number of trials that were conducted. She also confirmed that, in addition to international lines, ARC developed advanced cultivars were also included. She confirmed that information with regards to these locally developed cultivars will be shared with industry once the findings of the trials have been finalized. She confirmed that two new cultivars are in the process of being considered for registration.

      At the request of the Chairperson, Ms Salomon advised the meeting that plans were set in place to increase the availability of breeder seed each year and that this process had begun 2014, by outsourcing availability to two additional contractors.

      Ms Salomon announced that no Anel Breeder seed will be available for the 2015 planting season, but that this is a temporary problem and is not envisaged to be repeated next year. Mr De Kock stated that care should be taken that the necessary dispensation process via Sansor is followed; this was confirmed by Ms Salomon.

      In response to a question from Mr Visser, Ms Salomon confirmed that cultivar purity is ensured by the use of "kern seed" or "base seed" every five years.

    2. Research Database: OPOT Website

      The Chairperson informed the meeting of current developmental work that was being done on the OPDT website, which now allows for a cultivar-based filing of all research related reports and articles. Mr Keun confirmed that some older reports will be included and that all new reports and articles will be updated.

  10. Additional items

    1. Articles

      The following articles were tabled in the meeting pack:

      • "Terugblik op Graan SA Kongres" (SA Grain April 2015)
      • "Die Oes van Grondbone: Meganiese oes versus die pak van hopies deur L Salomon" (SA Grain March 2015)
      • Be Aware of Peanut Pod Nematode Symptoms in Groundnuts (Dr Sonia Steenkamp)
      • Grain Market by Wandile Sihlobo (SA Grain May 2015)
    2. PPECB: Pesticide residue testing

      The meeting noted a letter from PPECB (5 May 2015) advising on the accreditation of the laboratory in Pretoria for pesticide residue testing.

    3. Customs and Excise – blanched groundnuts

      The Chairperson gives a short overview regarding the alternative determination on the HS Tariff code for Blanched product recently being applied by SARS. An earlier letter dated 4 May 2015 to members has reference. The Chair further informs that an initial meeting was held with SARS officials, Mr Keun and herself in an attempt to obtain information and forge a basis for further discussion on behalf of the industry.

      The meeting discusses the matter and various members comment that they would not be opposed to a levy being instituted for blanched product and even other groundnut processed products such as roasted groundnuts and peanut butter.

      The Chairperson highlights that the levy or rate is not the issue under discussion, but only the most applicable classification and tariff heading applicable to blanched groundnuts in relation to the international HS Tariff code system. And discussions and consideration in tariff rate/levy changes will have to be discussed on a wider represented meeting and after relevant study and interpretation of all factors.

      After lengthy discussion, it is concluded that the Chairperson would summarize all relevant information, viewpoints and comments and send a letter to the SARS contacts to request that the classification of Blanched Groundnuts be reconsidered and clarified to ensure that all roleplayers in the industry can be informed correctly on the matter. This letter will be circulated under members beforehand for final inputs and comments. Depending on the outcome of the SARS evaluation, further action will be considered, for example requesting SARS that the latest determination only come into effect at a specific future date to allow importers to adjust their contracting and pricing terms accordingly. Certain members indicate that they would be prepared to join in discussions with SARS and depending on next round of communication, a working group might be required.

      Resolution:

      1. That the Chairperson be requested to summarise all relevant information, viewpoints and comments and send a letter to the SARS contacts to request that the classification of Blanched Groundnuts be reconsidered and clarified to ensure that all roleplayers in the industry can be informed correctly on the matter. The letter will be circulated to all Forum members beforehand for final inputs and comments.

        Chairperson

    4. SAGIS: Statutory measures

      The meeting noted the letter dated 14 May 2015 from SAGIS with the heading: Continuation and Amendment of Statutory Measures.

    5. Market information/newsletter

      1. Oilseed Magazine circulation

        The first quarterly publication, Oilseeds Focus, had been published. A database of recipients was in the process of being compiled. The publication is available in hard or soft copy (OPDT website). It was envisaged that circulation will expand in the future and it was also stressed that this publication in no way competes with that of SA Grain.

      2. Forum communication

        Mr de Kock has contacted all groundnut selection facilities in the country and will consult directly with them on issues directly affecting their operations. It was realised that not all facilities are aware of the Forum and its role in the industry.

      3. Grain SA Funding request

        A request for funding was tabled by Grain SA with respect to the international market report published by Georgalos (Argentina) to enable them to make more market information available to their members. Mr Keun explained that this particular report is already being funded via OPDT and that a previous request to fund a second subscription had been denied. He further explained that if the OAC approves such particular funding requests, the OAC may be placed in a position where other private entities may expect to receive similar funding. The report is currently being funded for SAGIS as they are the official body recognised for publishing certain market information for use by the industry.

        After discussion it was established that the report received by SAGIS most likely only covers pricing information and not additional market and production information covered by the full weekly reports. The matter was referred back to the OAC for further consideration that will allow for information to be circulated to all industry members.

        Resolution:

        1. That the matter regarding groundnut market information be referred back to the OAC for further consideration that will allow for information to be circulated to all industry members.

          Mr Keun
          OAC

        Mr Johan Roux informed the meeting of a market report published by Aldebaran (based in Europe) and offered to request that Grain SA be added to their distribution list.

    6. Feedback: Joint Foods Safety Forum and MRL Meetings

      The Chair reported back on groundnut related issues discussed during the meetings held on 10 March and 19 May 2015.

      • During the meeting of 10 March, Mr Heilbron (PPECB) reported that R1026 of December 2014 on Export Control is now being implemented.
      • The SoP by DAFF for the appointment of accredited government and private laboratories for analysing grains and food products for export has been published. A list of the laboratories can be found on the DAFF website.
      • Notice 1148 on Import Control (circulated to Forum members during January 2015 and included under 10.2 SAGF documents for 9 March meeting) were discussed.

      The following points were highlighted:

      • Closing comments awaited until 26 March 2015.
      • DAFF has on-going consultations, pending a possible 2nd draft.
      • During the meeting of 19 May 2015, DAFF was informed that consideration was being given to replacing the foreseen regulation with a notice, after the public consultation process is completed.
      • During the meeting of 19 May 2015, it was advised that final notices will be given on the APS Amendment Bill (Notice 829 of October 2014). Public consultations were held in all regions during March. Adjustments are being made and a final draft is foreseen to be circulated at the end of May for a brief period for final comments, after which, it will be sent directly to Parliament.
    7. Pesticide 2.4DB Application

      Mr Visser informed the meeting of residues on groundnuts which were eventually traced back to fields where Roundup-Ready maize was produced. Grain SA gave the undertaking to bring this risk to the attention of their members. Ms Campbell also commented that this matter should be seen in a serious light particularly considering the sensitivity that markets have towards GMO and chemical products.

    8. Clarification: SOP Aflatoxin Results in terms of APS Act

      The Chair reported that, on request of an industry member, she received the following clarification from DAFF:

      "Section 13.1 of the above mentioned document applies to consignments destined for export. The results for Aflatoxin analysis carried out by PPECB for export will only be taken into account. With regard to your second clarification three (3) consecutive tests on consignments will be applicable regardless of new export season or not. However we might have to open a discussion with the Groundnut industry whether the 3 consecutive tests of the consignments can be confined or restricted to two years' seasons."

      Mr de Kock commented that consideration should be given to asking DAFF to reconsider this position as the risk of aflatoxin is always higher at the end of the season than the beginning and hence the cost of additional testing is high.

      The Chair suggested that any selection plant which finds itself in a difficult position should make use of the appeal process embedded in the SOP or table the matter before PPECB.

    9. Producer Grading guideline amendments

      Mr Wegner and Mr Visser explained that there is a need to amend the current Producer Stock Grading Guidelines to accommodate parameters for stock harvested mechanically or delivered at higher moisture levels than traditionally is the case.

      It was again confirmed that this document is not official nor regulatory and as such, not under the management of PPECB or DAFF. However, due to his expertise, Mr Wegner agreed to suggest the requested changes to the document for discussion during the next meeting.

      It was also decided that the guideline should, for administrative purposes, be controlled via the SAGF to ensure that the document remains updated and relevant as well as ensure that there is one recognized guideline standard in play.

      Resolutions:

      1. That it be noted that Mr Wegner and Mr Visser explained that there is a need to amend the current Producer Stock Grading Guidelines to accommodate parameters for stock harvested mechanically or delivered at higher moisture levels than traditionally is the case. Due to his expertise, Mr Wegner agreed to suggest the requested changes to the document for discussion during the next meeting.

        Mr Wegner

      2. That the guideline should, for administrative pur-poses, be controlled via the SAGF to ensure that the document remains updated and relevant as well as ensure that there is one recognized guideline standard in play.

        Mr Keun

    10. Amendments to export regulation to include SADC countries

      R1026 – Regulations regarding Control of the Export of Grains of 19 December 2014 refers.

      Mr Visser and other members voiced their concerns and objections to the implementation of APS-based inspection and certification requirements now in place for exports of groundnuts to SADC countries. The chair implored members not to ignore draft regulations or departmental requests-for-comment as the industry has a history of only reacting once final notices were published.

      After extensive discussion it became clear there is a level of misunderstanding in terms of product descriptions and regulatory and statutory measures and the scope thereof.

      Due to the fact that this issue is important but that there had been insufficient time to prepare for in-depth discussion it was agreed that the chair would schedule meetings with representatives from PPECB, DAFF and the DoH to discuss and summarise the scope and impact of the various regulations and statutory measures currently in place. The outcome of the discussion will be tabled at the next SAGF meeting.

      Resolution:

      1. That the Chairperson would schedule meetings with representatives from PPECB, DAFF and the DoH to discuss and summarise the scope and impact of the various regulations and statutory measures currently in place. The outcome of the discussion will be tabled at the next SAGF meeting.

        Chairperson

  11. Meeting dates

    28 October 2015 (Johannesburg office).

  12. Adjournment

    There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 14h45.