“I am sure that most of us set out in 2020 with high hopes and expectations of great things, perhaps including new business projects or plans to make more time to do the things we enjoy. In most cases these plans had to change and adaption was required to take on the challenges of Covid-19. For some, there was a least the advantage of spending more quality more time at home with loved ones during lockdown. Our lives and our world are different to one year ago. A courteous handshake is no longer acceptable and we miss seeing that smile, now hidden behind a face-mask. For some, we have had the pain of losing a family member, a friend or colleague to the pandemic. We can certainly look back though with a sense of gratitude, that our industry was one of the essential services and that trade was permitted for us throughout the lockdown, while knowing that many businesses were not so lucky. 2020 has highlighted that as humans, we must be willing and ready to accept change, and to be able adapt quickly to that change.
As the year draws to a close, I wish to thank the SAMPA Management Committee for all the effort you have put in during this year. A special thank you to our CEO Peter, who helped field many questions during the lockdown phases and who kept our members informed about the special COVID regulatory changes as they were introduced.
I wish all SAMPA members a good festive season and hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and well.”
As 2020 draws to a close I thought it would be worth reflecting on just how tumultuous a year it’s been. The Covid Pandemic that started in January as a minor virus scare and then rapidly changed to a global pandemic continues to haunt us all as fears of a 2nd wave seem inevitable.
As an industry that survived the devastating impacts of Listeriosis, we were able to quickly adapt and pivot to the challenges posed by lockdown restrictions, enhanced hygiene and personal safety requirements and the need to provide and use PPE to safeguard staff and customers.
The economic cost of the Pandemic were felt by all SAMPA members, with both economic and human impact being felt by all. We can all agree that no business was spared during 2020.
What can the Processed Meat Industry expect in 2021?
VC9100 – The past year has seen very little activity by the NRCS regarding the implementation of VC9100. Some members have completed “Desk Top Audits” and a few have had physical inspections. But due to the strict Covid rules imposed on Government departments the NRCS have been unable to operate as normal. SAMPA’s chairman wrote to the CEO of the NRCS in November asking for improved communication and offering assistance should it be required by the NRCS in communicating with SAMPA members and the wider industry.
We await a response from the NRCS.
R1283 – Processed Meat Regulation – the Agency for Food Safety commenced enforcement of this regulation on 1st April in the midst of strict Covid lockdown regulations. As the Covid restriction have relaxed so the AFS have increased testing and physical factory visits.
Non- compliance has been flagged and in most cases quickly addressed by the offending vendor, in one instance, legal action was taken against a business unwilling to co-operate. SAMPA and the AFS have a robust and active working relationship which we will build on in 2021.
It is envisaged that testing will continue to expand in number of tests and vendor rollout through 2021.
Raw Processed Meat Regulation- This new regulation has been waiting for the Minister of DALRRD’s signature since December 2019. It is expected to be signed into law before the end of 2020, once published in the GG it will fall under the Agency for Food Safety for inspection and enforcement.
SAMPA will circulate this new regulation to members the moment they are published.
R2718 – Boerewors and Sausage Regulation – This regulation defines the compositional requirements for any product that bears the name “Boerewors” or “Sausage/Wors”. SAMPA has noted with concern that a number of non- meat products (vegan and vegetarian) on retail shelves have used these names in contravention of R2718.
SAMPA has lodged an objection with the Department of Health, this matter rests with the enforcement team from DOH, Food Control to act on SAMPA’s complaint.
The issue of meat names being used for non-meat products is currently enjoying global debate, perhaps the same will happen in SA during 2021?
SANS 885 – The SABS Technical Working Group for SANS 885 are currently updating SANS 885 to align it with the changes that have occurred since the 2011 edition was published. A draft copy will be released for comment in early 2021. SAMPA‘s TWG will review the document and provide comment on behalf of the industry.
Poultry Master Plan – The Department of Trade Industry and Competition (DTIC) together with SAPA and AMIE are driving the Poultry Master Plan. SAMPA is a guest (observer) at these meetings as SAMPA members are the biggest users of Chicken MDM and various Chicken Products (breast, skin & fat etc).
While there is still much to be done before SA becomes an exporter of scale, all indications are that real progress against the objectives set by Minister Patel are being achieved.
Red Meat Industry Forum – RMIF held its AGM on 11th November 2020 and the following office bearers were elected to office.
Chairman – Mr L van Reenen
Vice Chair – Mr K le Riche
Members – Mr D Osborne, Mr G Schutte, Mr T Davidson, Mr G Southey
Compliance Committee – Mr T Davidson, Mr D Osborne
Audit and Levy Committee – Mr B Swart, Mr P Gordon
SAMPA Office Closure over December 2020
SAMPA offices will be closed between the following dates:
December 14th – 18th – Closed
December 25th – 5th January – Closed
As always I am available on my mobile 24/7 for any urgent matters.