SA Groundnut Forum (SAGF)
held on 26 October 2016 at 10:00 at the offices of the Oilseeds Industry, 49 River Road, Woodmead Ext 1

  1. Opening

    The meeting was opened with a prayer.

  2. Welcome

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

  3. Attendance


    Ms A Botha Praxia Trading (Chairperson)
    Mr K Conradie Kalinda Trading
    Mr L de Kock Roba Foods
    Mr H Engelbrecht PPECB Laboratory
    Mr N Hawkins SAGIS
    Mr T Jansen C. Steinweg Bridge
    Mr S Heilbron PPECB
    Mr W Higgs Triotrade Gauteng
    Mr H Lazarus LB Nuts
    Mr R Mommsen C. Steinweg Bridge
    Ms N Mhonopi PPECB Laboratory
    Mr I Motlhabane OAC
    Ms L Muller ARC-GCI
    Ms D Naicker CSIR
    Mr G Nortjé GWK
    Mr G Scholtemeijer OAC
    Mr P Sanford FRW Groundnuts
    Mr M van der Merwe Golden Peanut
    Mr W van der Walt OAC
    Mr G van Wyk VGM
    Mr P Visser Golden Peanut


    Dr C van der Merwe Tiger Brands
    Ms M Scheepers DAFF (Crop Estimates Committee)
    Mr N Wegner PPECB
    Ms M Purnell Agbiz Grain
    Ms R Beukes DAFF (Crop Estimates Committee)
    Mr K Nienaber RE Groundnuts
  4. Personalia

    No matters were noted.

  5. Finalisation of agenda

    The following additional items were included as part of the agenda:

    Item 10: Additional Matters – to include the following:

    • Item 10.4 – Presentation by Dr D Naicker from the CSIR
    • Item 10.5 – Availability of Seed
  6. Approval of minutes

    Approval of the minutes of the meeting of the SA Groundnut Forum held on 27 July 2016


    1. That the minutes of the meeting of SA Groundnut Forum that was held on 27 July 2016 be accepted as a true reflection of that meeting.
    2. Chairperson
      Forum Members<

  7. Matters arising

    1. Audits

      (Resolution 7.1.1 and 7.1.2 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 27/07/2016)

      It was reported by Mr Heilbron that, as a result of the climatic conditions prevailing in the industry and in the spirit of compassion, it was agreed to temporarily downscale on their insistence with regards to compliance and the number of PPECB farm audits undertaken. It was noted that one third of groundnut farmers had been audited over the past two and a half seasonal cycles. Mr Heilbron mentioned that these audited farmers represent a quarter of the total farmers who is said to deliver 80% of the crop and that the number of audits would be reviewed in January 2017, to establish a way forward. The Chairperson extended her appreciation to PPECB for their understanding and support during these difficult climatic conditions.

    2. Producer Grading Guideline Amendments

      (Resolution 7.3.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 27/07/2016)

      The Chairperson reported that this project was pending final approval by the Oilseeds Advisory Committee (OAC), but that additional information was requested at their meeting of 18 October 2016 in order to come to a final decision. The importance of the updated guideline was confirmed and a suggestion was made that a small work group be established to have a meeting with Mr Wegner (as project manager) to clarify the needs of the industry and support this project application. The Chairperson mentioned that two supporting letters, from Grain SA and the SAGF, will be forwarded to the OAC. If the project is approved, the intention is to have it run for two seasons, commencing during the 2017 crop. This matter would be reviewed at the next meeting.


      1. That supporting letters from Grain SA and the SAGF in respect of the project application be forwarded to the OAC.


    3. Strategic Industry Plan

      (Resolution 7.4.1-7.4.3 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 27/07/2016)

      The Chairperson reported that the information made available in writing (either be it from suppliers within the industry, or via other sources) was not sufficient to undertake a complete modification of the current grading standards. Mr Wegner was in the process of implementing a project plan on the Producer Grading Guideline Amendments.

      • Resolution

        7.4.1 – That members be requested to review the presentation on SAGF cultivar survey and submit any comments to the Chairperson.

        No further comments by members.

      • Resolution

        7.4.2 – That members be requested to review the draft Terms of Reference and submit any amendments and/or comments to the Chairperson.

        The Chairperson reported that the Terms of Reference document clarifies the role and mandate of the SAGF. This need was identified in the 2012 BFAP report on the sustainability of the groundnut industry and forms part of the strategic plan of the SAGF. It also stipulates the internal rules in place and manage the requirements set in terms of the Competition Act. The hope is that this will allow for wider participation from industry roleplayers who may have concerns in this regard.

        The Chairperson advised that both the Terms of Reference document as well as the "Projects and Key Objectives for 2016/17 has been circulated before for comment. These documents were also discussed and accepted by the OAC at the meeting of 18 October 2016. With no further comments or objections from the meeting, both these documents are deemed approved and accepted by the meeting. The "Project and Key Objectives" document will be used as a discussion, feedback and measurement tool for new and existing projects and will be revised annually at the last meeting of the year.

      • Resolution

        7.4.3 – That the proposed draft Terms of Reference be accepted, and presented to the Forum Members at the October 2016 meeting, subject to interim amendments or additions.

        The proposed Terms of Reference and Projects and Key Objectives document be accepted and approved by the Forum.

      • Projects and Key Objectives 2016/17

        The meeting discussed the following issues as listed on this document:

        • Cultivar and Seed Related

          The forum discussed at length the cultivar-breeding program, maintenance of breeder seed, seed multiplication, availability of seed and elite groundnut trials. Members felt that the information provided with regards to the cultivar trial results was limited and additional information was required with regard to certain projects and the funding thereof.

          Mr Scholtemeijer provided feedback and background with regards to the previous elite cultivar trials project that had since come to an end. He noted that the onus actually lay with the original owners of locally registered cultivars to conduct trials and ongoing evaluation where required.

          It was reported that in the cultivar survey this subject has been identified as one of the main areas of concern, as there were no new of very limited cultivars being made available to primary producers and that higher yields were required to stimulate and expand production. He reported that the present groundnut industry had the potential to boost yields as has been proven by the soya industry specifically.

          It was mentioned that surveys completed abroad in South America had indicated superior yields to those achieved in South Africa and stressed that the onus was on the original owner to register his cultivars in South Africa. This had not been very successful to date, as it was extremely difficult for seed testing to be undertaken by the ARC due to IP constraints and the fact that the ARC is also involved in a breeding program. It was noted that canola and soya elite trials had brought tremendous benefit to the industry, but this had not been the case with groundnuts.

          After a period of discussion between the Forum members, the difference between Elite cultivar trials versus trials conducted on local breeded cultivars were established. The Chairperson mentioned that it is important for a clear distinction to be made when discussing these issues. It was considered unlikely that Elite trials would be planted for this season and a complete new elite trial project for 2017/2018 would be developed and undertaken, including the identification of project managers and new internationally sourced cultivars. It was requested on behalf of the OAC that this matter be left with them for further development and future feedback.

          Mr Scholtemeijer confirmed that the ARC still had their own breeding program, and would certainly continue with its own trials. At this stage no new projects have been put forward to the OAC for consideration and as such no funding via the OPDT would be granted to external parties with regard to breeding. Mr Keun commented that correspondence was received from the ARC to advise that no further funding is required for trials for breeding lines.

          Mr Scholtemeijer stated that very few commodities around the world, excluding maize, were big enough to warrant a cultivar breeding program and that the industry in South Africa was a case in point.

          It was again highlighted that there is a need in the industry for a document or brochure highlighting the traits of the existing registered cultivars to enable primary producers to make informed decisions on planting options. The Chairperson reported that cultivar information has previously been requested from the ARC and that other registered cultivar owners will be contacted as well to be invited to supply information on their cultivars to be included in such a document. Ms Muller agreed to supply this information as soon as possible.

          A need of ongoing evaluation of existing cultivars was tabled and dis-cussed. It was explained that, although these cultivars have been planted in previously cultivar trials, primary producers and selection facilities as buyers of the crop, has the need to, on a continuous basis have independent and scientifically sound information available on how specific cultivars fare in the different areas and under different climatic conditions. It was agreed that as this does not constitute new research, this need will have to be addressed in the form of a coordinated industry project and an ad hoc work group was established to discuss and implement the evaluation of existing cultivars. The group nominated included Mr A Visser, Mr C Louw, Mr W Higgs and Ms L Muller with the vice-chairman, Mr L de Kock as coordinator of the group. The group will meet and feedback will be given to the SAGF in due course but that the understanding is that members will assist in the planting and harvesting of the evaluation trials with possible support from the ARC (to be discussed and agreed). The findings of these evaluations will be made available to the whole industry.

        The Chairperson briefly reported back on the remaining projects and objectives confirming that:

        • The Aflatoxin research project in Natal is ongoing (refer to Prof Liang's presentation included);
        • The updated producer grading guideline project is pending funding approval (as discussed);
        • Topics for a possible symposium in 2018 will have to be determined as discussed at the previous SAGF meeting;
        • As confirmed by Mr Keun, the OAC decided that Groundnuts will in future be included in Income and Cost Estimate models as is being done for other commodities at this stage. As soon as available this will be made available to industry;
        • The annual groundnut MRL list, for which funding was approved by the OAC has been updated, circulated and published;
        • GAP auditing ongoing as was reported earlier by Mr Heilbron; and
        • HACCP control feedback still pending from DOH.


      1. That the contents of the SAGF cultivar survey be noted.


      2. That the "Terms of Reference" and Projects and Key objectives documents be accepted.


      3. That a document (brochure) will be designed containing information on all locally registered cultivars to be used as a marketing and decision making tool for primary producers.


      4. That the ARC will make information on their registered cultivars available to the Forum (via the Chairperson).

        Ms Mulle

      5. That an ad hoc work group be established to plan, execute and report on a project for the ongoing evaluation of existing cultivars in various production areas.

        Mr De Kock
        Mr Visser
        Mr Louw
        Mr Higgs
        Ms Muller

    4. Leaf Services / APS Act

      (Item 10.2 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 27/07/2016)

      The Chairperson reported that Mr Keun and herself attended a meeting with the management of Leaf Services to obtain clarity on the necessary changes to the Act. A summary of this discussion and areas that required discussion and clarification has been circulated to the Forum members.

      Of particular concern were border import quality controls and the uncertainty regarding implementation (or not) of pesticide and aflatoxin tests and how this will relate to existing controls in place.

      Further input and concerns were raised by Forum members, which included concern surrounding costs incurred with compliance to the relevant legislation.

      The Chairperson suggested that the Forum have an objective approach, as the protocols and final procedures have as yet not been finalised and should be, according to Leaf Services, published for public comment before final implementation. As per agreement with Leaf Services, a representative work group will be formed to discuss and consult with Leaf Services on these issues, as well clarifying the way forward with regard to what products and to what extent would be subject to inspection, testing and grading.

      Discussion was held around the inspection of smaller companies. The standards set would need to be clarified at point of import on how inspections would be adapted. The Chairperson concluded that Forum members would be kept informed of any progress made.


      1. That a work group be formed to consult with Leaf Services and DAFF as well as obtaining clarity on what products would be subject to inspection and to what extent.


  8. Industry information and marketing aspects

    1. Crop and area estimates

      The members took notice of the information under Annexure D.

    2. SAGIS: General feedback and market information

      Mr Hawkins gave a general feedback presentation to the Forum, which included: import and export quantities for the RSA 2016/2017 season; groundnut consumption; the 2016/2017 marketing year; supply and demand; as well as price movements, the details of which would be available on the SAGIS website. The following matters were highlighted:

      • Only 18 850mt groundnuts had been cultivated in South Africa for the current (2016) season. This figure had the lowest on record since 1947.
      • Imports and exports (March to September 2016) increased to 25 017 metric tons from compared to 14 604 metric tons for the full 2015/2016 marketing season.

      The Chairperson thanked Mr Hawkins for his presentation and expressed her gratitude for their effort and commitment.

    3. PPECB Laboratory Services Groundnut Report

      Mr Hein Engelbrecht from PPECB Laboratory Services highlighted the findings of aflatoxin testing for the period between 2015 and 2016 crops.

      The Chairperson thanked Mr Engelbrecht for the informative presen-tation, noting that regardless of the expected impact the drought could have had on aflatoxin levels, it seems from the data that the industry had the situation well under control and is well managed by selection facilities preparing groundnuts for export.

  9. Research

    1. Presentation by Professor Mark Laing, University of KwaZulu-Natal

      (Resolution 9.1.1 of the SA Groundnut Forum minutes of 27/07/2016)

      The presentation on the Biocontrol of Aspergillus flavus in groundnut using Trichoderma harzianum Strain kd, as presented by Prof Mark Laing, had been circulated and was duly noted.

  10. Additional matters

    1. Articles

      Articles of interest were noted and accepted under Annexure G. The Chairperson brought an article "The Role of the Oil & Protein Seeds Development Trust and Oilseeds Advisory Committee" written by Mr Keun and published in the September 2016 Oilseeds Focus to the attention of the meeting, suggesting that members take the time to read this informative piece.

    2. MRL List

      The annual list detailing maximum residue limits for crop protection products for peanuts for South Africa, Europe and Japan, was noted and accepted under Annexure H.

    3. Statutory measures

      This matter had been covered earlier in Mr Hawkins' presentation. It was reported that affected members are required to register with SAGIS within 21 days of publication of these measures. Funds have been approved by OPDT and currently the systems at SAGIS are being updated to handle the additional returns and data. A reminder will be sent to members via the SAGF to register for all newly published products (groundnut oil, groundnut paste and peanut butter), regardless of existing registration of other products.

    4. CSIR Report

      A presentation: "Biosciences: Bioprospecting and Agroprocessing" was presented by Dr Naicker, the Competency Area Manager for the CSIR.

      Dr Naicker reported that:

      • The CSIR was a mandate driven organisation that focused on health, agricultural and industry biotechnology-based technology solutions. The CSIR placed emphasis on an energy natural environment, industry built environment, defense and health nutrition;
      • The CSIR was exploring the biosciences market for partners who could be potentially involved in this industry. The CSIR Biosciences Division was made up of health sciences, bioprospecting and agroprocessing, manufacturing technologies and a biomanufacturing industry development centre;
      • Dr Naicker presented a slide on the research process undertaken by the CSIR, which included: gathering of UK database, plant collections, plant extractions, botanical products, formulation studies and toxicity levels.
      • Priorities for CSIR included:
        • Safe and nutritious foods and cosmeceuticals;
        • Biodiverse IK and product development;
        • Transfer of technologies used by local labs in South Africa as well as Africa (for the promotion of safe and nutritious foods);
        • Funding pilot study – measure of micotoxin levels;
        • They have been involved with at least one large roleplayer in the industry as far as product development is concerned.

        In response to a query, Dr Naicker replied that within CSIR's mandate and infrastructure, the CSIR provided support to companies and industries for product development in South Africa.

        In conclusion and in response to a second query, Dr Naicker reported that the CSIR was not involved in peanut butter as a potential product at this particular stage. She added that a vitamin-enriched peanut butter could be a possible option.

      The Chairperson thanked Dr Naicker for her informative presentation and attending the Forum meeting.

    5. Availability of seed

      Mr Louw commented that from a Grain SA perspective, he believes there is reason to believe that farmers are positive to plant groundnuts this year, especially given October rainfall. He expressed his concern that availability of seed might however hamper the possibility to expand commercial planting and requested information from the meeting with regard to seed availability.

      Ms Muller advised that the multiplication of breeder seed has been largely increased. She requested that the industry via the Forum informs the ARC on the future demand of breeder seed to ensure that they plan accordingly. The Chairperson comments that the request certainly has merit but is of the opinion that the Forum cannot specifically ascertain this information as all roleplayers are not necessarily active Forum members. She suggests that the ARC directly contact their usual or potential buyers of breeder seed to consult on a wider basis with them on this matter and invited Ms Muller to report back to the industry as a matter of interest and common concern.

      Mr Visser commented that, considering the representation at the meeting, it might not be possible to fully answer Mr Louw's question. He is of the opinion that quality and availability of seed from the small 2016 crop might be problematic if a crop of 60 000mt is to be achieved. He feels that perhaps the message is not clear enough that seed might not be as widely available as might be thought.

      Mr Nortje commented that farmers who confirmed their seed requirements early with GWK – that is about two months ago – should receive their required volume. Farmers now deciding to plant groundnuts on the back of the rains or wanting to enter or re-enter the industry after some years' absence, might not be able to procure sufficient seed.

      It seems there is consensus that plantings for a crop of at least 40-50 000mt is viable and that this year, availability of seed will be the main determining factor – not willingness to plant or selection capacity.

      Mr Higgs commented that he feels that, under normal weather circumstances, a crop of 60-70 000mt is possible. The germination of seed looks good and he ventures that the consent around the table would be that it is the best in the last 3 to 4 years. Mr Visser mentioned that it could be between 5-10% higher than before.

  11. Election of office bearers

    1. Election of Chairperson

      The Chairperson excused herself from the meeting and handed the chair to Mr de Kock.

      The Vice-Chairperson opened the election process and asked for nominations for Chairperson. Ms A Botha was duly reappointed by unanimous vote.

      The Chairperson re-entered the meeting, and the Forum congratulated her on her reappointment as Chairperson.


      1. The reappointment of Ms A Botha as the Chairperson was approved and accepted by the Forum.


  12. Meeting dates 2017

    The following meeting dates were scheduled for next year:

    • 16 February 2017
    • 26 July 2017
    • 31 October 2017
  13. Adjournment

    There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 13:15. The Chairperson thanked the forum members for their input and kindness and wished everyone a safe and happy festive season.