SA Groundnut Forum (SAGF)
held on 30 July 2013 at 10:00 at the offices of the Oilseeds Industry, Woodmead

  1. Opening

    The meeting was opened with a prayer, offered by Mr Gerhard Keun.

  2. Welcome

    The Chairperson, Mr GTduT Keun, welcomed all present to the second meeting of the Groundnut Forum in 2013, and extended a special word of welcome to Dr Jorge Baldessari of Argentina.

  3. Attendance


    Mr GTduT Keun Chairperson
    Ms A van Deventer Vice Chairperson
    Dr J Baldessari INTA
    Dr L Chetty SANSOR
    Mr J Cohn OLAM
    Mr A Cronjé Tiger Consumer Brands
    Mr GL de Kock Roba
    Mr O de Witt Praxia trading
    Mr JCG du Preez Consultant
    Mr N Hawkins SAGIS
    Mr RW Higgs Triotrade
    Mr H Jansen GrainSA
    Mr WJ la Cock SA Groundnut Marketing
    Mr L Lourens Pepsico
    Mr V Mapfumari DAFF
    Ms D Marabe DAFF
    Mr C Mathews OAC Contractor
    Mr M Mosome DAFF
    Dr D Naicker PPECB
    Mr R Nerwich The Snack Factory
    Mr K Nienaber RE Groundnuts
    Mr GL Nortjé GWK
    Ms L Salomon ARC-GCI
    Ms M Scheepers DAFF
    Dr G Thompson ARC-GCI
    Dr W van der Walt OAC
    Mr PP van Wyk VGM
    Mr N Wegner PPECB
    Ms E Harmse OPDT Contractor


    Mr C Louw GrainSA
    Dr A Lubbe Grain Silo Industry
    Ms AE Pretorius ARC-GCI
    Mr C Thabethe DOH
    Dr M Visser GrainSA
    Mr PA Visser P Farm
  4. Personalia

    None reported.

  5. Finalisation of agenda

    The agenda was accepted as it stood, with the addition of:

    • Item 9.6 – Groundnut Grading Course; and
    • Item 9.7 – Groundnut elite trials
  6. Approval of minutes

    1. Approval of the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum held on 18 April 2013


      1. That the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum, that was held on 18 April 2013, be accepted as a true and fair reflection of that meeting.
  7. Matters arising

    1. Seed quality

      (Resolution 7.1.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 18 April 2013)

      The Chairperson reported that he had not received any comments on the physical requirements of groundnut seed, as detailed in the Government Gazette of 25 November 1983, Annexure 4, with the exception of Ms van Deventer's submission on the matter.

      Ms van Deventer said she had suggested that the physical requirements, as set out in clauses 6.2.1 and 6.2.2 of Annexure 4, be added to the current physical requirements of groundnut seed, as listed in the Plant Improvement Act. She however added that inputs would be required from the selection facilities and, in particular, from the producers.

      Mr Wegner mentioned that GrainSA was currently looking into the matter, but had not yet passed a final resolution on the physical requirements that should be included. He suggested that the matter be held in abeyance, so that GrainSA could provide feedback at the Forum's next meeting. Ms van Deventer agreed that her submission could be forwarded to GrainSA.


      1. That feedback was being awaited from GrainSA on the recommended physical requirements of groundnut seed.

        Mr Visser

    2. HACCP regulations

      (Resolution 7.2.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 18 April 2013)

      The Chairperson said Dr Baldessari had informed him that the Argentinian groundnut industry had implemented Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), as part of their strategy to grow the groundnut industry in Argentina.

      Ms van Deventer noted that the matters relating to HACCP that had been raised at the previous meeting, such as the implementation of HACCP principles by selection facilities, was already in place, with the possible exception of smaller, more informal selection facilities, which matter would be discussed with the Department of Health (DOH). She said the matter of the loopholes with regard to the import of farmers' stock at border posts would also be discussed with the Department, and added that the term "producers' stock" would be properly defined. She urged the members to inform Ms Campbell of loopholes with regard to imports at border posts, should they become aware of such.

      The Chairperson said the available standards and codes on food safety will be published on the website of the Oilseeds Industry (www.opot.co.za). He urged the members to adhere to the official requirements.

      The matter was considered as concluded.

    3. Laboratories: Germination tests

      (Resolution 7.5.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 18 April 2013)

      The Chairperson raised the matter of the availability of the necessary capacity and skills to do germination tests on groundnut seed. He reported that it was a real challenge to obtain feedback from the various roleplayers in the industry.

      Dr Chetty suggested that the Official Seed Testing Laboratory be approached for assistance. She said Incotec in Pietermaritzburg could also be of assistance. She mentioned that SANSOR could perhaps provide consumables to those companies, if such should be required.

      The Chairperson noted that the matter would probably be finalised at the next meeting.


      1. That feedback is being awaited on the matter regarding the availability of the necessary capacity and skills to do germination tests on groundnut seed.


    4. Farm audits: PPECB

      (Resolutions 7.4.1 and 10.3.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 18 April 2013)

      Cognisance was taken of the minutes of the meeting held on 2 July 2013, between representatives of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB), the Groundnut Forum and GrainSA.

      Ms van Deventer presented an overview of past developments with regard to the issue of farm audits. She said it had been resolved at the previous meeting that the current production season would be used as a pilot season for the implementation of farm audits, following which problems and risks identified during the pilot study would be discussed. She reported that the Forum's Steering Committee had since been informed that the farm audits had not been going well, with most of the producers that had been audited, not receiving the thumbs up from the PPECB, mostly due to small, administrative matters.

      Ms van Deventer reported that the Forum had then approached Messrs Makhafola and Mosome for assistance, who had immediately reacted positively and decisively. She said it had then been decided to form a technical group for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) auditing. She noted that the technical group hoped to substantially reduce the checklist, that would be applicable to groundnuts only, and would compile a manual in this regard, that would be aimed at producers. She remarked that the group hoped to compile minimum standards that DAFF would approve in terms of R707. She said the group would also be looking to find solutions for the costs involved with the audits. She added that all farm audits will be put on hold, until such time the group had finalised their work.

      In response to a request by the Chairperson, Ms van Deventer summarised that the group was finalising the audit checklist per email commmunication, that the farm audits had been suspended for the time being, that exports would not be suspended, and that a communication drive will be initiated, in order to address the current confusion. She said the information could also be disseminated at the planned Groundnut Information Day.

      Mr de Witt sugested that Ms van Deventer, Dr Visser, Messrs Higgs and Louw be tasked to deal with the matter for the next two years, together with DAFF and the PPECB, so that the matter could be finalised once and for all. He said the groundnut industry could be updated on progress achieved on a continuous basis.

      The Chairperson thanked those concerned for all their hard work and the efforts they had made in finding a solution for the problem. Mr Mosome said he was satisfied with the progress attained thus far.


      1. That Ms van Deventer, Dr Visser, Messrs Higgs and Louw be tasked to deal with the matter of farm audits for the next two years, together with DAFF and the PPECB.

        Vice Chairperson
        Messrs Higgs and Louw
        DAFF, PPECB

    5. Export regulations

      (Resolution 10.3.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 18 April 2013)

      Cognisance was taken of Mr Mapfumari's letter dated 1 July 2013, in which he confirmed that the definition of "blemished kernels" had been amended in the Standards and Requirements regarding the control of the export of groundnuts. The members were thanked for inputs forwarded to Mr Mapfumari.

    6. Presentation: Dr Jorge Baldessari, INTA Manfredi Experimental Station, Argentina

      The Chairperson introduced Dr Baldessari, head of the groundnut breeding programme at Manfredi Experimental Station in Argentina, to the members, and called on him to deliver his presentation to the members of the Forum.

      During his presentation, Dr Baldessari provided an overview of the groundnut industry in Argentina, and informed them on the disease groundnut smut, and the causal agent of the disease, Thecaphora frezii, that occurred in Argentina, and caused more damage to crops in Argentina than any of the other groundnut diseases. He said humans were the main vector of the disease, as the spores stuck to everything. He noted that stringent risk control measures had to be in place, when Argentinian cultivars were imported.

      The Chairperson thanked Dr Baldessari for his presentation. He said Dr Baldessari had been invited to deliver his presentation, as the Forum was aware that certain roleplayers in the local groundnut industry had been importing cultivars from all over the world. He noted that the issue of peanut smut alerted one to the dangers implicit in such actions.

      Mr Jansen said in his view, DAFF should be approached to determine what steps they could take to protect the groundnut industry from threats such as these. Dr Thompson noted that it was critical to include peanut smut in the phyto-sanitary regulations applicable to seed intended for planting, as well as nuts imported for processing. He said infected nuts could possibly be blanched. Dr Baldessari mentioned that the efficacy of blanching had yet to be determined.

      Dr van der Walt said as far as he was concerned the most important concern would not be the import of groundnut cultivars, but the exhange of small quantities of germplasm between countries. He asked which countries have set up quarantine requirements in this regard. Dr Baldessari said as far as he knew, none had.

      The Chairperson confirmed that he would follow up on the matter.


      1. That feedback is being awaited on the issue of phyto-sanitary requirements applicable to groundnut seed intended for planting as well as nuts imported for processing.


  8. Industry information and marketing aspects

    1. SAGIS: General feedback and market information

      Mr Hawkins presented an overview of the latest groundnut information, as com-piled by SAGIS. He said the information included, inter alia, data on national and international supply and demand, local production figures, data on imports and exports, data on international and local stocks as well as indicative import and export parity prices, international prices and food prices. He added that the information was published on the SAGIS website (www.sagis.org.za).

      Mr Hawkins conveyed SAGIS' gratitude for the inputs delivered by the various co-workers, as well as those delivered by the members of the Groundnut Forum and the various associations in the industry. He also acknowledged the contributions of the SAGIS Board of Directors.

      The members took cognisance of the market information SAGIS had compiled for the Groundnut Forum, of the weekly bulletin dated 11 July and of the monthly bulletin, dated 24 June 2013.

    2. Crop and Area estimates

      Cognisance was taken of the document reflecting the sixth area planted and production estimate for summer crops for the 2013 production season.

      The Chairperson called on Ms Scheepers to elucidate on the information. Ms Scheepers said according to the sixth production estimate, 46 900 hectares had been planted to groundnuts, with an expected crop of 42 300 tons, which would be the smallest local crop on record.

      Ms Scheepers said according to the sixth forecast, the largest groundnut crop was expected in the Free State, with 16 000 tons (38%), followed by the Northern Cape with 14 000 tons (33%) and the North West Province, with 10 000 tons (24%). She added that the remaining provices represented 5% of the total local groundnut crop, which amounted to 2 100 tons.

      Ms Scheepers noted that the forecast had decreased from 64 600 tons in February 2013 to the July 2013 forecast of 42 300 tons, which represented a decrease of 34,5%, or 22 300 tons. She said the decrease could mainly be attributed to dry conditions earlier in the season in the most important production areas, which had a negative impact on the expected yields.

      Ms Scheepers said the current crop of 42 300 tons was 37 610 tons, or 47,1%, less than the previous ten year average crop of 77 056 tons, and 49 964 tons, or 54,2%, less than the previous twenty year average of 92 264 tons. She noted that the average yield per hectare was 0,90 tons per hectare, which was 40% lower than the previous five year average yield of 1,49 tons per hectare, and 21,1% less than the twenty year average of 1,14 tons per hectare.

      Ms Scheepers also presented an overview of historical trends in the local groundnut industry from 1981 to 2013.

      The Chairperson invited comments on the crop estimates for the various production areas. Mr Higgs said in his view the total production for 2013 may be even less than the 42 300 tons, that had been forecasted. Mr Jansen said in his opinion the quality of the crop would also be questionable. Mr Higgs noted that the quality of groundnuts produced under irrigation should be more acceptable than that of the nuts produced in rain fed conditions.

  9. Additional items

    1. Articles

      Cognisance was taken of the articles "Tyd om te besin oor die afgelope seisoen" and "Ekonomiese en weerstoestande dra by tot hoë volatiliteit in internasionale oliesadepryse".

    2. Field survey on safety measures for food exports to Japan

      Mr Mosome reported that Japanese authorities planned to visit South Africa at the end of August 2013, in order to collect information on food hygiene laws, export controls and export inspection systems in South Africa. He noted that citrus would be the the primary commodity of interest to the Japanese, although attention would also be paid to groundnuts.

      Cognisance was taken of the draft itinerary of the visit.

    3. Silo Bags

      Cognisance was taken of the article "Drylobag silosakke is die nuwe oplossing vir droging en berging", that had been published in the May 2013 edition of @Agri.

    4. Joint Food Safety Forum and MRL Work Group

      Cognisance was taken of the minutes of the Joint Food Safety Forum and MRL Work Group, that was held on 4 June 2013. Ms van Deventer said the next meeting, that had been planned for 13 August 2013, had been cancelled. She confirmed that she would advise the Forum on the date of the next meeting, once that had been finalised.

    5. Composition of Steering Committee

      The Chairperson said the members of the 2014 Steering Committee of the Groundnut Forum will be elected during the Forum's October meeting. He mentioned that the Steering Committee should be representative of all sectors in the local groundnut industry, and added that the representatives of the various sectors should be active and involved in their sectors, and would be required to provide feedback at Forum meetings and to the roleplayers in their sectors. He said the Steering Committee would have more members, with more responsibilities, with the specific responsibility to represent the members of the sector they had been elected to represent.

    6. Groundnut Grading Course

      Mr Wegner said PPECB planned to present a Groundnut Grading Course in November 2013, provided that ten or more delegates attended the course. He noted that the venue where the course is to be presented would probably be Potchefstroom.

      The Chairperson said the course will be announced in a groundnut newsletter, together with Mr Wegner's contact details, so that interested parties could contact him for more detail of the course.

    7. Groundnut Elite Trials

      Dr Thompson reported that the ARC-GCI had, in close collaboration with the oilseeds industry, successfully conducted Phase 1 groundnut trials, or elite trials, during the past production season. He said the trials had been harvested, and that the report would be submitted to the oilseeds industry, once the data had been analysed and the report written up. He said the oilseeds industry would decide on the way in which the information would be disseminated.

      The Chairperson noted that Memoranda of Understanding had been signed with international partners, that certain confidentiality issues were at stake, and that the oilseeds industry would decide what information could be published.

  10. Meeting dates 2013

    The next meeting will be held on 30 October 2013.

  11. Adjournment

    The Chairperson said a lot of work had been done since the previous meeting of the Forum, and that he wished to thank those concerned for all they had done. He urged the members to get involved in the activities of the Forum, as their contributions would determine the future of the local groundnut industry. He also thanked the members of the Forum for their attendance at, and contributions to the meeting, and wished all a safe journey home. There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 12:50.