SA Groundnut Forum (SAGF)
held on 9 March 2015 at 10:00 at the offices of the Oilseeds Industry, 49 River Road, Woodmead

  1. Opening

    The meeting was opened with a prayer offered by Mr Lourens de Kock.

  2. Welcome

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

  3. Attendance


    Ms A van Deventer Chairperson
    Mr G Keun OAC
    Mr GJH Scholtemeijer OAC
    Mr W van der Walt OAC and SANCU
    Ms L Solomon ARC-GCI
    Ms P Campbell Dept of Health
    Mr C Thabete Dept of Health
    Mr JL Nienaber RE Groundnuts
    Mr P Sanford FR Waring
    Mr D Lindsey Golden Peanut & Tree Nut SA
    Mr L Olivier Golden Peanut & Tree Nut SA
    Mr R Nerwich The Snack Factory
    Mr N Hawkins SAGIS
    Dr G Thompson ARC-GCI
    Mr G Nortje GWK
    Mr H Lazarus LB Nuts
    Mr C Louw GrainSA
    Mr F Minnaar GrainSA
    Mr L de Kock Roba Foods
    Mr W Higgs Triotrade Gauteng
    Mr K Mokgapa DAFF
    Ms D Marabe DAFF
    Mr V Mapfumari DAFF
    Ms N Mabala DAFF
    Mr W Mokgobu DAFF
    Ms M Scheepers DAFF
    Mr N Wegner PPECB
    Mr S Heilbron PPECB
    Dr D Naicker PPECB
    Mr P van Heerden PPECB


    Ms M Purnell AgbizGrain
    Mrs Matai PPECB
    Mr O Msimanga PPECB
    Mr A Visser Golden Peanut
    Mr A Gouws
    Mr A Cronje Tiger Brands
    Mr P van Wyk VGM
    Ms J Sadie DAFF
  4. Personalia

    Congratulations were extended to Mr Lourens de Kock on the births of his son and daughter.

  5. Finalisation of agenda

    The agenda as tabled was approved with the following additions:

    • 10.5 – Media advisory on inspections and the registration of exports.
    • 10.6 – Language of use during meetings.
  6. Approval of minutes

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


    1. That the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum that was held on 29 October 2014 be accepted as a true and fair reflection of that meeting.
  7. Matters arising from the previous meeting

    1. Farm audits: PPECB

      Mr Heilbron reported that:

      The 2014 crop marks the second phase of groundnut farm audits. Mr Heilbron referred to a recent FVO visit tasked to investigate the high occurrence of pesticides on deciduous fruit exported by South Africa to Europe. Although this commodity group received a favourable report on Food Safety issues, the comment was made that traceability in South Africa in general 'needs some work'.

      Progress with regards to groundnut farm audits is slow but diligent contributions have been made in order to close out the findings received during the first round of audits. According to Mr Heilbron, farmers generally find risk assessment as 'intimidating' and shortcomings are still prevalent. However, many close outs of earlier unsatisfactory findings were made possible by the use of the GAP Manuals/Templates.

      To date only 15% of the total planned audits have been done and PPECB are running behind the planned schedule. In cases where training with regards to the use of the GAP Manual/Templates were conducted beforehand, the audit pass rate stands at 90%. However, more training and increased efforts to engage with farmers are needed. PPECB will start training as from 10 March 2015 and this should address the shortcomings.

      A fresh batch of audits on processing plants will be undertaken this season and selection plants have already been requested to submit an updated list of farmers. The arrangement that all groundnut farms must be audited on a 3 year cycle still stands. As official assignee, the PPECB will conduct the audits on behalf of DAFF. No other certification body will be able to conduct audits. Audits on crops yet to be harvested are still planned for the current year.

    2. Groundnut Yield Challenge

      Arising from a resolution from the previous meeting, Golden Peanuts had submitted a draft template document. The document will be forwarded to the Oilseeds Advisory Committee (OAC) for further discussion. Mr Scholtemeijer indicated that, due to the experience the OAC had with similar competitions, the matter could be referred to the committee which will in due course formulate a plan to launch and drive such a project in the groundnut industry as well.

    3. Combined Groundnut Farmer's Day

      (Resolution 7.5.1 of the S A Groundnut Forum minutes of 29/10/2014)

      Mr Keun suggested that the initiative be taken to the OAC with a proposal to be submitted thereafter. The matter was held in abeyance.

    4. Generic marketing and advertising

      The Chair reported that:

      The concept of marketing should change to become more of a combined promotional initiative rather than pure marketing. The suggestion was to "start small" with an initial print-based strategy which would graduate to a web-based, comprehensive portal which would encapsulate all relevant information under one site. Meetings had been held with Media 24 and an advertising agency from which proposals had been received and were being interrogated. The entire strategy will be launched through a three-year plan with exposure in magazines starting in mid-2015 (Drum, You and Huisgenoot are the "big three" with a combined readership of approx. 7 million). Radio and TV promotional initiatives could be considered but due to cost might prove undesirable.

      Investigations are being undertaken into securing the services of a groundnut specialist who could concentrate on information and technical experticse distribution in specifically the primary production sector.

      The next step is now to apply for funding via the OAC and it is envisaged that some feedback in respect of this project may be given at the next meeting.

      1. Oilseeds Focus

        The oilseed industry is launching an oilseed publication on 16 April 2015. The publication, in the format of a magazine, will provide comprehensive information on oilseeds and will include articles which are typical to the genre.

        Mr Keun noted that this magazine is not in competition with any other grain publications. It will afford opportunities to all roleplayers to take up advertorial space and advertisements. The magazine is a joint venture between the Protein Research Foundation and the Oilseeds Trust and will be published on a quarterly basis.

    5. Statutory measures

      (Item 9.7 of the S A Groundnut Forum minutes of 29/10/2014)

      Mr Keun informed the Forum that feedback from industry members had been received. Comments are welcomed until end March and thereafter the final document will be prepared.

      After discussion and debate it was agreed that in respect of groundnuts, paste and peanut butter must be included into the submission as a groundnut product. It was also agreed that the list of stakeholders should be expanded to include: individual producers, traders, exporters, selection facilities and processors and that all submissions supporting any recommendations be submitted on official company letterheads.


      1. That peanut butter and peanut paste must be included into the submission as a groundnut products.

        Mr Keun

      2. That individual producers, traders, exporters, selection facilities and processors of groundnut products must be included as stakeholders into the new statutory measures.

        Mr Keun

  8. Industry information and marketing aspects

    1. SAGIS: General feedback and market information

      Mr Hawkins presented the latest groundnut information as compiled by SAGIS.

      Mr Hawkins informed the Forum that:

      • Exact supply and demand figures will be available end March 2015.
      • In respect of the local market opening/closing stock old/new seasons should be approx. 35 000 tons.
      • The predicted difference between actual and estimated crop tonnages at season end should be approx. 3 338 tons.
      • Since 2009/2010 yields show a downward trend.
      • The 2014/2015 import tons totalled 11 000 with exports standing at 10 000.
      • The large carry-over of stock from the 2013/14 year will reflect a drop to approx. 10 000 tons on the end February 2015 figures.
      • Consumption figures show a downward trend in the edible nuts market with slow growth reflected in the peanut butter sector.
      • Margarine and peanut butter prices rose slightly but sunflower oil fell by 0.69%.
      • SARS data (January to December 2014) reflects that South Africa imported 7 000 tons (R66m) from India, Mozambique and the USA although the value per ton has shown a decrease over the last three years.
      • The main export markets for the country are Japan, Mozambique and the Netherlands; a total of 9 207 tons (R135m) were exported.
      • The total value of peanut butter imports was 900 tons (R21,5m).

      It was mentioned that there is a measure of concern in respect of cross-border imports as data pertaining to these is not included into the SARS stats. It is important that all roleplayers assist in getting this required data and give it to SAGIS. All information will be treated as confidential and no details of those reporting on cross-border imports will be revealed. Total cross-border imports are approx. 50% of all imports although there is no absolute evidence to support this figure. GrainSA is looking at putting in place statutory regulations that force importers and exporters to reveal their trading activities in respect of cross-border imports.

    2. Crop and area estimates

      (Hand-out circulated)

      Current estimates are that 58 000 hectares were planted to groundnuts, 11% more than the acreage of 2014. The largest increase in acreage is in North West province. The expected total yield of all acreage is estimated at 67 000 tons, 9% less than that of 2014. Of concern is the projection of lower yields per hectare.

  9. Groundnut research

    1. Elite Cultivar Trials

      (Resolution 9.11.1 of the S A Groundnut Forum minutes of 29/10/2014)

      Mr Scholtemeijer reported that the current elite trials have replaced the previous cultivar trials. The current elite trials are invitees and the results of these trials being released to the respective owners of the cultivars only. Only the owner is free to release any data emanating from the trials and this aspect is a contractual obligation on OAC and the invitees. A member queried the release of the data; essentially South African growers should have access to research data in order to maximise their positions. Mr Scholtemeijer reiterated that under no circumstances will any research data be released to anybody by any governing body in respect of the current trials; only the owner of the cultivar is contractually allowed to release data.

      GrainSA made it clear that they appreciated the trials currently underway and the contractual obligations attached to such trials by the cultivar owners but requested that if there is a cultivar that does prove to be beneficial to South Africa, that such information be distributed as soon as it is available.

      Funding for the cultivar trials comes from the Oilseeds Trust which does not fund projects that gives exclusivity to any individual. It will only fund projects where the results thereof are ultimately given to all role players in the industry.

      The chair suggested that a short article outlining the positive work that is being done be published in the new magazine due to be launched on 16 April 2015. Mr Scholtemeijer offered to once again consider what generic information may be shared without compromising the agreements and understanding with the owners of the cultivars.

      The ARC noted that two new lines have been submitted for registration; both strains have increased disease resistance although yields remain the same. Once final approval for registration is received then more information will be published.


      1. That a short article outlining the work being done in respect of cultivar tests be published in the soon-to-be release magazine (16 April 2015 release).

        Mr Scholtemeijer

    2. Groundnut production manual

      Ms Salomon reported that the production manual is in the final process of completion with the English version being concluded within the next six months and thereafter the Afrikaans translation will be done. The manner of distribution will be both hardcopy and electronic.

  10. Additional items

    1. Articles

      Cognisance was taken of the various articles included in the agenda.

    2. Regulations on import of agricultural products

      The following document was tabled: Notice 1148 of 2014. Interested parties were invited to submit comments directly to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

    3. Forum communications

      The chair noted that two years ago the standing steering committee on the forum was done away with and replaced with short-term work groups. However, following a decision that there must be one key-point contact person, it was agreed that the chair, Mr de Kock and GrainSA would be the focal contact points. The chair would deal specifically with export issues and Mr de Kock with processing matters.

    4. Aflatoxin

      Aflatoxin tests, on behalf of DoH, are tested in Pretoria.

      1. Aflatoxin status

        The chair confirmed that a summary of results from weekly aflatoxin tests undertaken are being sent to the chair as per standing SOP issued by DAFF. This summary still contains no reference to region or selection plant.

        Presentation: Aflatoxin Status in Groundnuts 2014/15 by Dr D Naiker (PPEBC Laboratory)

        A short presentation highlighted that from the 2014/15 season, 1501 x 10kg samples were submitted for export product and 598 x 10kg samples for local market testing. Overall, the results (which did not identify region or selection facility) showed no undue risk, with the expected higher findings during the latter part of the season. Also, some peaks could be explained, for example the testing of old season stock destined for non-human consumption market etc).

        It was noted that the laboratory is currently offering pesticide testing facilities.

        It was noted that the lab had been recognised by DAFF as an official testing lab. The service will be open to the user-pay market with more investment being made into technology and securing the services of the right people.

        Dr Naicker has been requested to submit a similar report to the Forum meetings on an ongoing basis, in addition to the weekly summary reports sent to the chair. However, these reports are not for publication.

      2. Groundnut inspections – Department of Health (DoH)

        Ms Campbell said that of major concern is the perception that imported products have a high level of aflatoxin. The following measures are, from a DOH perspective, in play to limit the Food Safety risk in groundnuts destined for local consumption:

        • Currently, control over imported product are done via Port Health under the control of the DoH on a provincial level within provinces with sea and inland border posts.
        • It is however foreseen that Port Health will be nationalised from the 1st April 2015, which will change the way in which these controls are applied and it can be expected that the standards will thereafter be applied to the same extent across all provinces (whereas provinces can currently apply their own interpretation).
        • HACCP certification is mandatory for all groundnut production units and the focus has therefore moved away from government testing of product.
        • Prior to the implementation of HACCP Certification it was mandatory that all product was tested.
        • Two laboratories are currently in place to do aflatoxin testing on behalf of DoH – one in Cape Town and one in Pretoria. Durban imports are now tested in Pretoria.
        • Between 2012 and 2014, 69 samples were tested of which 20 failed.
        • The DoH can present the testing protocols and results at Groundnut Forum meetings as needed.
        • Those with information on product which is not fit for human consumption, or of facilities producing groundnut products without HACCP Certification, are asked to anonymously report same to DoH.
        • The Act regulating imports governs imports by both land and/or sea. The only difference is that the place of inspection will be different.
        • All imported groundnut products, which has been selected or processed, must be accompanied by a HACCP certificate for the exporting facility.
      3. Icrisat

        Dr Van Der Walt reported that follow-up had been done on the work undertaken by Icrisat. There are selections and new varieties that are being tested for aflatoxin. Genetic modification technologies are being considered as one way to fight against aflatoxins.

    5. Media release

      The chair read out a portion of a media release from DAFF as follows:

      "... no consignments shall be released without having been inspected and with a designated signing (PPECB). Export certificates shall accompany each consignment. No country will be exempted from such an inspection which comes into effect 1 April 2015".

      A member pointed out that previously Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia were excluded but the new regulations now includes these destinations.

    6. Translation services

      Mr Minnaar requested that translation services be considered at the meetings of the SA Groundnut Forum. The Chairperson said that English is the main language of communication during the meetings. However, it was acknowledged that some members prefer to use Afrikaans when speaking. The chair asked that English speaking members of the forum please ask for clarity should they not be able to follow Afrikaans.

  11. Meeting dates

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

    There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 13h15.