In a controlled market environment (before 1997) the then Oil Seeds Board acted through its various agents as the only buyer in the South African market. In terms of the Oil Seeds Scheme the Board also implemented the necessary management of quality control for both the local and the export market. Producers focussed mainly on production matters, and not on quality management.
After deregulation and suspension of the Oil Seeds Scheme, the South African producer finds himself in a completely free market where supply and demand determines the local and international price of groundnuts. With the demise of the Oil Seeds Board anyone may enter the export market. Quality management of the export product devolved from a single board to processors/exporters and producers.
In the European Union there is an intense debate on food safety. Certain events, such as the outbreak of "Mad Cow" disease in the mid-90s, played an important role in creating an awareness of food safety aspects among ordinary consumers. This led to the acceptance of legislation in Europe regarding food safety which had a direct impact on production processes. This, in turn, led to so-called "good practices" in the production of agricultural products in order to promote food safety.
The debate around food safety also spread to South Africa. Consumer awareness of food safety aspects placed pressure on the authorities to ensure food safety. On 13 May 2005 the National Department of Agriculture published regulations on "Standards regarding food hygiene and food safety of regulated agricultural food products of vegetable origin intended for export".
The National Department of Health, by means of a notice on 27 June 2003, promulgated Regulation no. R908, according to which provision is made for applying HACCP requirements on groundnuts prepared for the domestic market.
By means of this Guide, Grain SA in consultation with the Groundnut Forum, wish to provide support to producers in their efforts to conform with the local and international food safety requirements. We trust that it will be to the benefit of every user thereof.