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Cover of Oilseeds Focus Vol 5 No 1 March 2019
WORKGROUP MINUTES ARCHIVES SA GROUNDNUT FORUM 2010 22 July 2010
PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO VIEW INDIVIDUAL FILES
 NOVEMBER 2010 22 JULY 2010
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE
SA GROUNDNUT FORUM
HELD ON 22 JULY 2010 AT 10:00 AT THE OFFICES OF THE OILSEEDS INDUSTRY, RIVONIA
1. OPENING

 

DThe meeting was opened with prayer offered by Mr JCG du Preez.

2. WELCOME

 

The Chairperson, Mr JCG du Preez, welcomed all present, with a special word of welcome to Messrs Cloete, Farinha and Lloyd.

3. PRESENSIE
 
Present Mr JCG du Preez Chairperson
  Mr P Botha GrainSA
  Mr R Cloete PPECB
  Mr S Coetzee PPECB
  Mr J Cohn OLAM SA
  Mr AM Cronjé Tiger Brands
  Mr O de Witt Praxia Trading
  Dr J Dreyer ARC-GCI
  Ms A Enslin SAGIS
  Mr G Farinha BLANCOM
  Mr N Hawkins GrainSA
  Mr RW Higgs Triotrade Gauteng
  Mr GTduT Keun CEO: OPDT/OAC
  Mr R Lloyd BLANCOM
  Ms MC Makobe DAFF
  Mr M Mosome DAFF
  Mr GC Nortjé GWK
  Mr JAM Potgieter GrainSA
  Ms A van Deventer Praxia Trading
  Mr PJ van Heerden PPECB
  Dr WJ van der Walt SANCU
  Ms E Harmse Secretariat
 
Apologies Ms R Beukes DAFF
  Mr GL de Kock Snr Roba Peanuts
  Mr GL de Kock Jr Roba Peanuts
  Mr DJ Kok Grain Silo Industry
  Mr B Makhafola DAFF
  Mr RE Nerwich The Snack Factory
  Mr P van Wyk VGM
 
4. PERSONALIA
 

Wishes for a speedy recovery were conveyed to Mr Piet Louw, following on his recent hospitalization.

5. FINALISATION OF AGENDA
 

The agenda was accepted as it stood, with the addition of:
Item 10.5   Mycotoxin;
Item 10.6   Groundnut Cultivar Evaluation Committee Meeting.

6. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
6.1 Approval of the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum held on 4 November 2009
  Resolved:
6.1.1 That the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum, which was held on 4 November, be accepted as a true and fair reflection of that meeting.
7. MATTERS ARISING
7.1 Good Agricultural and Processing Practices
(Resolutions 7.1.1 and 7.1.2 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 4 November 2009)
 

The Chairperson ruled that feedback on the relevant resolutions adopted at the previous meeting be provided in the first instance. Mr Keun reported that due to administrative problems he had to rewrite the minutes of the meeting of the Management Committee of the SA Groundnut Forum held in March 2010, and would submit the resolutions to the members of the Forum by means of a Powerpoint presentation, as and when relevant matters were raised for discussion during the meeting.

Mr Keun reported that the Management Committee had discussed the resolution pertaining to hosting the document on good agricultural and processing practices and the attachment detailing the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles on GrainSA's website. He said the Management Committee had recommended that a link be established between GrainSA's website and the website of the oilseeds industry, as the document was available on the website of the oilseeds industry. He mentioned that the link had not been established yet, and added that he would provide feedback once this had been done.

With regard to the resolution that a press release would be sent to the media after the document on good agricultural and processing practices and the attachment detailing the HACCP principles had been made available on the relevant websites, the Chairperson reported that the Management Committee had resolved that the distribution of the press release would be delayed until such time the matter with regard to the certification of processing plants had been resolved. He added that a number of exported groundnut consignments had been rejected at that stage.

Mr Cohn indicated that he was not in agreement with this resolution, as the groundnut industry needed positive coverage in the press. He said to the best of his knowledge all local processing plants had been approved by PPECB in terms of HACCP principles. He considered the rejected consignments to be a separate issue. Following on a brief discussion, it was unanimously agreed that the availability of the documents would be communicated.

  Resolved:
7.1.1 That it be noted that a link will be established between the websites of GrainSA and the oilseeds industry, in order to facilitate access to the document on good agricultural and processing practices and the attachment detailing the HACCP principles, following which the availability of the documents will be publicised by means of a press release.   Chairperson
Mr Keun
7.2 Guideline: Aflatoxin
(Resolutions 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 4 November 2009)
 

It was noted that the document titled "On-farm aflatoxin testing – Technical Note April 2009" had been made available on the website of the oilseeds industry.

Dr van der Walt reported that he had a number of hard copies of the booklet titled "Guidelines on the application of good agricultural practices and HACCP in mycotoxin prevention" on hand, for distribution to the members of the Forum. He said he was still investigating the possibility of hosting an electronic copy of the booklet on the websites of the oilseeds industry and GrainSA.

  Noted:
7.2.1 That the possibility of hosting an electronic copy of the booklet titled "Guidelines on the application of good agricultural practices and HACCP in mycotoxin prevention" on the websites of the oilseeds industry and GrainSA would be investigated.   Dr van der Walt
7.3 Sustainability of the groundnut industry
(Resolutions 7.3.1 to 7.3.7 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 4 November 2009)
 

The Chairperson raised the matter of progress achieved on the relevant resolutions passed at the previous meeting of the Groundnut Forum. He said feedback would also be provided on the pertinent resolutions passed by the Management Committee during their meeting in March 2010.

Mr Keun reported that the study that had apparently been undertaken on the relative competitiveness of the South African primary and secondary oilseeds industry could not be tracked down. He said the Management Committee's recommendation to the Oilseeds Advisory Committee and the Research Priority Committee that such a study be done, had duly been approved. He mentioned that the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) had been approached to submit a project proposal in this regard. He said the NAMC had done a similar study on the potato industry, which would be perused, to ascertain whether or not the study included those aspects that were of importance to the groundnut industry.

The Chairperson reported that the Management Committee had recommended that a literature study on mechanised and semi-mechanised groundnut harvesting and handling should be undertaken, which recommendation the OAC had approved in principle. He invited comments on the current importance of mechanical harvesting in the groundnut production process.

Following on an extensive discussion of the matter, it was noted that production conditions and production situations varied from producer to producer and from year to year, with the result that harvesting methods had to be adjusted accordingly. It was agreed that the literature study on local and international mechanised and semi-mechanised groundnut harvesting and handling processes was an essential initiative.

Mr Hawkins reported that every effort had been made to organise a farmers' day, with the view to sharing information on mechanised harvesting and handling methods. He said the suppliers of the machinery were unfortunately not in a position to participate, as their stocks had been sold out. Mr Cohn was of the opinion that the groundnut industry needed momentum, and that the farmers' day had to be organised sooner rather than later. He added that the producers were reluctant to plant groundnuts in the coming production season.

Mr Potgieter said he strongly supported Mr Cohn's view. He mentioned that an information day would provide a pre-season discussion opportunity for both producers and processors. He suggested that a second information day be organised at harvesting time, so that harvesting methods and mechanisation practices could be demonstrated.

The Chairperson reported that the Management Committee had resolved that information days would be organised once the economic study on the local groundnut industry had been completed, which would be within twelve to fifteen months. The members were in agreement that that resolution would be scrapped, as it was essential to boost the groundnut industry as soon as possible.

The Chairperson ruled that the details of the information days be discussed. Following on a brief discussion, it was resolved that two information days would be presented before the production season commenced, that these would be aimed at producers and processors in the dryland and irrigation regions respectively, and that issues such as profitability, quality and production practices would be addressed. It was also resolved that a mechanisation day would be presented in April or May 2011. It was agreed that the events would be coordinated by a small working group, made up of Messrs Botha or Hawkins, Cohn, Keun, Nortjé and Dr Dreyer. Mr Potgieter suggested that the mechanisation day be presented on an annual basis as part of the NAMPO Harvest Day.

Mr Keun reported that the OAC had supported the Management Committee's recommendation that the sourcing and evaluation of information with regard to directional trends in the local and international market be held in abeyance, until such time the economic study had been finalised. He said the OAC had noted that bottlenecks in the groundnut industry had been identified, and that these were being addressed.

The Chairperson reported that the Management Committee had resolved that a program and motivation for an international study tour would be compiled for consideration by the OAC. Mr Keun confirmed that the matter had been listed on the agenda of the OAC, and said he would provide feedback when such had been made available.

It was noted that the list of expertise in the groundnut industry would be updated on a continuous basis. It was also noted that the groundnut breeding programme was continuing, with the breeding of high oleic groundnut cultivars having progressed to a third cycle in the glass house.

  Resolved:
7.3.1 That it be noted that the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) had been approached to submit a project proposal on the relative competitiveness of the South African groundnut industry.   Mr Keun
7.3.2 That two information days would be presented before the groundnut production season commenced, that these would be aimed at producers and processors in the dryland and irrigation regions respectively, that a mechanisation day would be presented in April or May 2011, and that these events would be coordinated by a small working group, made up of Messrs Botha or Hawkins, Cohn, Keun, Nortjé and Dr Dreyer.   Mr Keun
7.3.3 That it be noted that feedback would be provided at a following meeting on the proposed international study tour.   Mr Keun
7.4 Seed scheme
(Resolution 7.4.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 4 November 2009)
 

The Chairperson ruled that the discussion regarding the options for future seed production be held in abeyance until clarity had been established on the possible commercialisation of a number of the ARC's functions.

  Noted:
7.4.1 That the options for future seed production be held in abeyance until clarity had been established on the possible commercialisation of a number of the ARC's functions.   Mr Keun
Dr Dreyer
7.5 International Standards
(Resolution 7.5.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 4 November 2009)
 

The Chairperson reported that he was still trying to source information on those nutritional values of groundnuts which were considered to be the basic and most important for labelling purposes, for inclusion in a small database on the nutritional values of selected South African groundnut cultivars. He explained that the issue of international standards had been raised for discussion following on a request from buyers in Europe, in order to comply with international labelling requirements on food composition.

Mr Keun mentioned that he had sourced relevant information from the University of North West and also from Mr Cronjé, in addition to the information that PPECB had provided on the matter. He said this information would be included with the documentation of the November meeting of the Forum.

  Resolved:
7.5.1 That it be noted that the information which had already been sourced on those nutritional values of groundnuts that were considered to be the basic and most important for labelling purposes, would be included with the documentation of the November meeting of the Forum.   Mr Keun
7.6 Exemption of groundnuts primary producers from Food Safety Auditing
(Resolution 9.4.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum mintes of 4 November 2009)
 

The Chairperson reported that he had discussed the issue of the exemption of groundnuts primary producers from Food Safety Auditing with a representative of the exporters and Mr Makhafola. Mr Mosome said Mr Makhafola had informed him that he had to still finalise the matter with the Director, and that he would provide written feedback to the Chairperson of the SA Groundnut Forum.

Mr Keun reported that the Management Committee had recommended that discussions be held on the matter between the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), exporters, processors, producers and the PPECB. The members of the Forum were in agreement that the discussion between the Chairperson, the exporters' representative and Mr Makhafola would suffice, and that feedback from Mr Makhafola would be awaited. Ms Mokobe said she had been informed that the producers would be exempted from food safety auditing.

  Resolved:
7.6.1 That it be noted that written confirmation was being awaited that primary groundnut producers had been exempted from food safety auditing.   Mr Keun
7.6.2 That the discussion between the Chairperson, the exporters' representative and Mr Makhafola be organised regarding the exemption of primary producers from food safety auditing.   Chairperson
Mr Keun
7.7 Aflatoxin results
(Resolution 9.7.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 4 November 2009)
 

The Chairperson said the Forum had resolved that certain data on aflatoxin contamination in the various regions would be made available to the industry at every Forum meeting. He mentioned that the information had been made available by PPECB, but that he did not consider it advisable to make the information public, as this would not be conducive to a positive image of the industry. He opened the matter for discussion.

Ms van Deventer reported that the DAFF was currently conducting an investigation on aflatoxin, specifically with regard to the rejection of groundnut consignments, as these cast a negative light on local exports. She said she had studied the rejection statistics over the previous 18 months, and had determined that there had been two rejections from Japan, and 20 from Europe, which compared favourably with those of other exporting countries. She mentioned that she had contacted roleplayers in the industry for comment on the matter, and had received five responses. The Chairperson ruled that the responses be forwarded to Mr Makhafola, and added that Mr Makhafola would probably call for a meeting on the matter with members of the industry. Ms van Deventer considered it important to study historical data with regard to the number of rejections, as this would enable one to compare statistics from year to year.

Mr Coetzee responded to a number of comments that had been raised on the costs associated with aflatoxin testing. He said it had previously been reaffirmed that the issue with regard to meeting aflatoxin levels was strategically one of the more, if not the most, important challenges in the industry. He mentioned that the PPECB would be most willing to participate in a task team formed to focus on addressing the issue of aflatoxin levels. He said that the PPECB had introduced additional controls at Durban Harbour and at the points of processing, following on the large number of Rapid Alerts that had been issued.

Mr Coetzee indicated his surprise at the comments raised about the pricing of the aflatoxin tests. He advised the Forum to enquire about the structure of levies for aflatoxin tests, if there were any uncertainty about such.

Ms van Deventer mentioned the industry had tabled its concerns about the issue of conflicting analyses by local and overseas laboratories. Mr Higgs agreed that this was a problem, and noted that one laboratory could come up with different results on different samples from the same batch or the same consignment. He said one kernel could affect a whole consignment.

The Chairperson referred to the Management Committee's resolution that Mr Keun had reported on earlier, on the recommendation that discussions be held on food safety auditing between the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), exporters, processors, producers and the PPECB. He suggested that this resolution be implemented, so that the issue of aflatoxin could be discussed.

Mr de Witt mentioned that the EU planned to issue revised aflatoxin testing regulations shortly, and suggested that the revised EU regulations be included with the documentation of the following meeting. He added that Argentina had already implemented a revised aflatoxin testing system for exports.

Mr Cohn referred to the Chairperson's view that it would not be advisable to disseminate the data on aflatoxin contamination in the various regions. He said it had been reported that aflatoxin was on the increase, and added that this issue had to be managed in some way or another, as it could have an extremely negative effect on the product in the marketplace. He noted that it was essential to know where the aflatoxin originated, if the issue were to be managed properly. Messrs de Witt and Farinha indicated their support for Mr Cohn's view on the matter.

  Resolved:
7.7.1 That discussions be held on the issue of aflatoxin between the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), exporters, processors, producers and the PPECB.   Chairperson
Mr Keun
7.7.2 That it be noted that the revised EU aflatoxin testing regulations will be included with the documentation of the following meeting.   Mr Keun
7.8 Chemical residues in the EU
(Resolution 9.8.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 4 November 2009)
 

The Chairperson noted that the members of the Forum had resolved at their previous meeting that Crop Life's information on chemical agents would be used until such time the list of chemical agents applicable to the groundnut industry had been finalised. He reported that the Management Committee had recommended that the CODEX rules be followed, as the chemical industry did no longer make the limits available at the beginning of every season, as used to be the case in the past. He added, however, that Mr Boshoff, the person who acted as driver of the process, was due to return to South Africa, and that he would consult with Mr Boshoff on the matter as soon as possible.

  Resolved:
7.8.1 That it be noted that feedback is being awaited on the issue of the use of chemical agents in the groundnut industry.   Chairperson
7.9 Peanut Butter – Gauteng feeding scheme
(Resolution 9.10.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 4 November 2009)
 

The Chairperson reported that he had not yet managed to determine what had motivated the Gauteng Education Departement to delete peanut butter from the list of approved foods in their feeding scheme. Mr Cohn suggested identifying a person who could lobby the issue on behalf of the Groundnut Forum.

  Resolved:
7.9.1 That the relevant authorities be contacted to determine what had motivated the Gauteng Education Departement to delete peanut butter from the list of approved foods in their feeding scheme.   Chairperson
8. INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND MARKETING ASPECTS
8.1 SAGIS – General feedback and market information
 

The members took cognisance of the market information prepared for the Groundnut Forum by SAGIS and dated 22 July, as well as the SAGIS weekly bulletin dated 6 July and the monthly bulletin dated 23 June.

Ms Enslin reported that a total of 65 500 tons of groundnuts had been delivered and 22 600 tons of groundnuts had been processed up to the end of June 2010, and that stocks at the end of June stood at 78 100 tons. She noted that local groundnut production over the last few years was well below the ten year average. She added that 500 tons of groundnuts had been imported and 9 200 tons of groundnuts had been exported up to the end of June.

8.2 Crop and Area estimates
 

Cognisance was taken of the fifth production forecast for summer crops for the 2009-2010 production season. Mr Hawkins mentioned that the crop may be lower than forecast, as there were a number of hectares that could possibly not be harvested, due to wet conditions.

Mr Cohn mentioned that contracts were agreed on, based on the crop estimates. He said he considered the lower than expected total crop to be akin to a force majeure. He asked whether the industry could declare a force majeure on this issue, as it affected all the role players in the industry. The Chairperson said a legal opinion would have to be sought on this.

Following on a brief discussion of the matter, it was resolved that a working group, made up by Ms van Deventer, Messrs Botha, Cohn and Higgs, would compile a joint statement on conditions in the groundnut industry and the 2010 crop, on behalf of all members of the groundnut industry. Mr Cohn said the working group would also handle the issue of declaring a force majeure on the crop.

  Resolved:
8.2.1 That a working group, made up by Ms van Deventer, Messrs Botha, Cohn and Higgs, would compile a joint statement on conditions in the groundnut industry and the 2010 crop, on behalf of all members of the groundnut industry.   Ms van Deventer,
Messrs Botha, Cohn
and Higgs
9. FEEDBACK: GROUNDNUT INDUSTRY ROLEPLAYERS
 

The Chairperson said he had been approached on the possibility of including an agenda item to make provision for feedback on the groundnut industry on a regular basis. He called on Ms van Deventer to provide feedback from the exporters.

Ms van Deventer said it was essential to know what type of feedback was required from the exporters. She mentioned that she would report on that which she considered to be of importance, but added that she would appreciate guidance on the input that was expected. The Chairperson noted that a brief overview of a specific sector of the industry would suffice.

Ms van Deventer provided information on the status of international groundnut production, specifically with regard to China, the biggest producer, India, the United States and Argentina. She mentioned that South Africa was responsible for 0,35% of the total world production of groundnuts. She also gave a brief overview of world exports, imports and international prices. She mentioned that international buyers were interested in high oleic groundnuts.

Ms van Deventer gave a short report on the proceedings of the International Groundnut Forum. She mentioned that one of the directors of Birdsong Peanuts was considered to be an expert in food safety, and added that the person could assist the Groundnut Forum with aflatoxin-related issues. She said she had received a report on the issue of salmonella-infected groundnuts in the United States, which had caused quite a scare in the US the previous year.

The Chairperson suggested condensing the export/import information, and indicating how those affected the South African industry. Mr Farinha proposed that a one page newsletter on the groundnut industry be issued on a regular basis.

Mr Potgieter said producers were aiming to limit input costs in the production of oilseed crops, and that the area planted to oilseeds could increase. He mentioned, however, that there was uncertainty on the availability of seed. Mr Botha provided an overview of production costs for the new production season.

Mr Cloete was of the opinion that enough groundnut seed would be available for the coming season. He added that a limited amount of seed of the cultivar SAJuweel would be released to the industry. The Chairperson thanked all for their contributions.

  Resolved:
9.1 That the possibility of regularly issuing a one page newsletter on the groundnut industry be investigated.   Mr Keun
10. ADDITIONAL ITEMS
10.1 Objectives and guidelines: CODEX
 

Cognisance was taken of the report of the forty-second session of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues. The Chairperson said he would refer the report to Mr Boshoff.

  Noted:
10.1.1 That the report of the forty-second session of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues would be referred to Mr Boshoff.   Chairperson
10.2 Final report: Development of an integrated pest management program for nematodes on groundnuts, Dr S Steenkamp
 

Cognisance was taken of the final report on the development of an integrated pest management program for nematodes on groundnuts. Mr Keun mentioned that the report will be made available on the website of the oilseeds industry.

10.3 Argentina: Tango and peanuts
 

Cognisance was taken of the article "Argentine: tango and peanuts", as published in the FOSFA Newsletter. Mr Farinha mentioned the possibility of inviting the author of the article, Ms Ackermann, to address the Groundnut Forum.

10.4 Competition Commission
 

The Chairperson announced that Nola had withdrawn their membership of the Groundnut Forum, as a result of the activities of the Competition Commission, with the result that Ms Edwards would no longer serve as representative of the manufacturers of peanut butter. The members were in agreement that the matter with regard to representation of the groundnut manufacturers on the Management Committee of the Forum would be held in abeyance until the November 2010 meeting of the Forum, when the Management Committee was due to be reelected.

Dr van der Walt said he would investigate the possibility of obtaining the guidelines on aspects that are not to be discussed at meetings of the Maize Forum, for consideration by the members of the Groundnut Forum.

The Chairperson reported that high-level discussions were currently underway on the Competition Commission's investigations, and that feedback on those discussions would be awaited.

  Resolved:
10.4.1 That the matter with regard to representation of the groundnut manufacturers on the Management Committee of the Forum would be held in abeyance until the November 2010 meeting of the Forum, when the Management Committee was due to be reelected.   Mr Keun
10.4.2 That the possibility will be investigated of obtaining the guidelines on aspects that are not to be discussed at meetings of the Maize Forum, for consideration by the members of the Groundnut Forum.   Dr van der Walt
10.4.3 That feedback be awaited on the high-level discussions that are currently underway on the Competition Commission's investigations.   Mr Keun
10.5 Mycotoxins
 

The Chairperson reported that the grain industry had appointed a working group to investigate issues related to mycotoxins. He said he would provide feedback on this at a future meeting of the Forum.

  Noted:
10.5.1 That it be noted that feedback will be provided on the findings of the grain industry's working group on mycotoxins.   Chairperson
10.6 Groundnut Cultivar Evaluation Committee meeting
 

Dr Dreyer mentioned that the Groundnut Cultivar Evaluation meeting is to take place at 10:00 on 7 September in the Sellschop Building of the ARC-GCI at Potchefstroom.

11. MEETING DATES
 

The last meeting of the Groundnut Forum during 2010 will be held on 3 November, at Potchefstroom.

12. ADJOURNMENT
 

The Chairperson 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 matters for discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 15:00.

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