4 February 2016
Policy and Legislation
The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has gazetted the Pricing Strategy for water use as well as the Norms and Standards for tariff settings through the government gazette on 13 November 2015.  This week DWS hosted a consultation session dedicated to the agricultural sector, as the closing date for the submission of comments is 12 February 2016.  Questions raised by industry role players were centered around the appointment of an economic regulator; resource poor farmers; co-operation between DWS, Department Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, (DAFF) and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in the development of land; as well as measurement of water use.

Presentations done at the consultation session are linked below:

Agbiz will submit its comments before the closing date.
International Trade Intelligence
Agbiz hosted a Roundtable Meeting with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Pretoria this week. While the roundtable discussion centred around the future of US - SA trade and investment relations post-AGOA, questions were raised regarding the lessons that could be drawn from the past unsuccessful negotiations of establishing a Free Trade Area between the United States and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). Media release»

Picture: From the left Alan Treat (USTR Director for Southern Africa), Catherine Fulton (Director Africa and the Middle East USDA Foreign Agricultural Service), Tinashe Kapuya (Agbiz Head International Trade and Investment Intelligence) and Sharon Bomer-Lauritsen (Assistant USTR for Agriculture). 
Kindly note that the Roundtable Discussion on EU-SA relations which was originally scheduled for 8 February 2016, will now take place on 9 February 2016 at Diep in die Berg, Pretoria. The discussion is expected to focus more broadly on the trajectory of the EU's trade policy over the past decade, and more specifically on how global, regional and domestic developments will shape EU trade and investment relations with South Africa in the future. Open invitation here»
Agbiz Grain
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) ensures the ongoing development and maintenance of uniform standards for South African inspection and weighing procedures for grain.  Grading regulations promote fair business practices and a competitive marketing environment for grain and oilseeds. By the correct application of the grading regulations, fair and competitive trading practices are promoted to the overall benefit of consumers and the agricultural industry. 

Linked below are the new regulations relating to the grading, packing and marketing of grain and oilseeds products intended for sale in South Africa:
Sorghum Grading Regulations (Gov Gazette, 8 Jan 2016)
Soft Wheat Grading Regulations (Gov Gazette, 22 Jan 2016)
Durum Wheat Grading Regulations (Gov Gazette, 22 Jan 2016)
Bread Wheat Grading Regulations (Gov Gazette, 29 Jan 2016)
Sunflower Seed Grading Regulations (Gov Gazette, 22 Jan 2016) 
Permission has been granted to all producers, wholesalers, traders, retailers, importers and processors of soya beans to sell and import soya beans that meet the linked requirements.
Members' News
Food_Prices The NAMC monitors food prices at retail level and releases regular authoritative reports.  The Food Basket Monthly Pricing is a result of recent discussions with industry, and the need to keep watch on the movements of food prices on a more regular basis than the current quarterly Food Price Monitor.  Click to open publication»
Syngenta this week announced that ChemChina has offered to acquire the company at US$ 465 per ordinary share plus a special dividend of CHF 5 to be paid conditional upon and prior to closing. According to a press statement the Board of Directors of Syngenta considers that the proposed transaction respects the interests of all stakeholders and is unanimously recommending the offer to shareholders.

"The transaction could be concluded by the end of the year, subject to shareholder acceptance and regulatory approvals," says Antonie Delport, MD of Syngenta SA. "The terms of this agreement will enable Syngenta to retain its name, its management, its broad portfolio and geographic presence.  Syngenta will remain headquartered in Switzerland and is committed to continue company operations to ensure it will be business as usual for our customers, business partners, employees, shareholders and the communities we serve." Media release - Syngenta Global»
The Old Mutual Global Equity Fund took two wins at the 20th annual Raging Bull Awards 2016 recently held in Cape Town. The Raging Bull Awards recognises the stars of the collective investment or unit trust industry in terms of top outright performers, best risk-adjusted performers and the best unit trust management companies. Media release»
The VinPro Foundation recently commended three of its bursary holders in cellar technology, viticulture and oenology for graduating at the end of 2015. Media release»
Industry News
The Vice President of Black Business Council, Mr Sandile Zungu, says the business fraternity fully supports the Black Industrialists Programme aimed at expanding the industrial base and injecting new dynamism in the economy with the inclusion and participation of black industrialists in the manufacturing activities. Zungu was speaking at the official launch of the Black Industrialists Policy and Incentive Scheme in Pretoria this week.  Media statement»

Manufacturing and industrialisation are at the core of Black Industrialists programme
The focus for the newly-launched Black Industrialists Programme is mainly geared towards manufacturing, industrialisation and inclusive economic growth. This was the primary message communicated by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Empowerment Fund, Ms Philisiwe Mthethwa during the launch of the Black Industrialists Policy.  Media statement»
CEO Brenda Horne-Ferreira has tendered her notice of resignation from the Council. Given the current economic climate and limited funding resources, the board has decided not to replace Brenda and to transfer the Management, Coordination and Administration of SASTALC secretariat to Yayeri Kisaame, who has been mentored by Brenda over the past 14 months as part of the council transformation strategy.  Read more»
News around the web

- www.moneyweb.co.za

- www.bizcommunity.com
Upcoming Events
78th AGM of the SA Chamber of Baking
25 February 2016 | Misty Hills Hotel | Muldersdrift
Anti-Corruption & Anti-Fraud Workshop
25 February 2016 | Misty Hills Hotel | Muldersdrift
Global Trade Review's Annual GTR Africa Trade Finance Week 2016
2 - 4 March 2016 | The Westin | Cape Town
National Chamber of Milling (NCM) 80th Annual General Meeting
10 - 11 March 2016 | Drakensberg Sun Resort | Central Drakensberg, Winterton, KwaZulu-Natal
2016 GOSA Symposium
16 - 17 March 2016 | Club Mykonos | Langebaan
More information: Karen Greeff on 082 042 3890
Undercover Farming Expo
15 - 16 March 2016 | Saint George Hotel, Irene, Pretoria
17th Annual Road Transport Legislation Workshop
27 May | Spier, Stellenbosch
26 May | Protea Hotel Edward, Durban
7 June | CSIR, Pretoria
Agbiz Congress 2016
1 - 2 June 2016 | Somerset West, Cape Town
Agri-finance for non-financial managers, Africa edition
31 May - 3 June 2016 | Johannesburg
IFAMA 26th Annual World Conference
19 - 23 June 2016 | Denmark
Farmbiz Agribusiness Africa Conference 
27 - 28 July 2016 | Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand
Enquiries: Marianna du Plessis,  africa@farmlinkafrica.co.za or 082 337 6127
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