24 November 2017

Law_4 Last week Friday (the 17th  of November) the Minister of Labour published the National Minimum Wage Bill and its accompanying amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA). These Bills followed a somewhat a-typical route as it was preceded by years of negotiation at Nedlac between organized Business, Organised Labour and Government before final publication. The envisioned implementation date is the 1st  of May 2018, which means that the Bill will likely be fast-tracked through Parliament and an unusually short period of time has been afforded for public comments, with the due date set at the 30th  of November (a mere 2 weeks since publication). Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence provides more information in the linked article

At Bonn Talks, World Comes Around to Doing More to Combat Climate Change; Debates Carbon Market Links and Use of Trade Tools. The twenty-third Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has now drawn to a close, with the adoption of a gender action plan, a deal on addressing agriculture in the UNFCCC context, advances across various negotiating areas, discussions on carbon market links and use of trade tools, and political calls for even greater climate ambition heading into the 2018 negotiating process. Please click on Bridges COP 23 Update to peruse.

Remember how scandalous it was when the University of Stellenbosch's meat scientists published a study in 2013 showing that some processed meat products in retail stores contained donkey meat which was not declared on the packaging? The societal outrage that ensued was not due to product mislabelling and the cheating of consumers, but rather to the use of donkey meat itself. Although some processed products included meat from goats, complaints regarding these were few - the headlines were undeniably dominated by donkey meats -  Click here to read Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist's full column which first appeared in Business Day.

Food inflation slowed to 5.3% y/y in October 2017, from 5.4% y/y in the previous month. This is the lowest level in 23-months, thanks to lower agricultural commodity prices. Most food product price inflation remain at relatively lower levels, with the exception of meat which is still at double digits, at 15.5% y/y last month. While fears of avian influenza have not completely dissipated, the impact has largely been on egg layers. Broilers were roughly 8% of the birds culled thus far. The cattle restocking process is also proving to be slower than we initially anticipated. The uptick observed in August slaughtering activity seems to be somewhat a temporary blip, as September figures showed a decline. Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist provides more information in the linked update»

Click here to read the daily market view on commodities and the weekly wrap.  
Prospects for agriculture in the upcoming WTO's eleventh ministerial conference  

Trade Ministers from the WTO's 164-member countries will convene in Beunos Aires, Argentina from 10 to 13 December 2017 for the 11th Ministerial Conference, which is the highest decision-making body of the WTO. The last (10th) WTO Ministerial Conference took place in 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya. At that conference, WTO Members committed to eliminate all export subsidy entitlements. The 11th Ministerial Conference comes at the time when world leaders have pledged to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030 through objective two (2) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This brings agriculture to the forefront in global development, and challenges WTO negotiators to find lasting solutions to outstanding issues that affects international trade on agricultural goods.  Sifiso Ntombela, Agbiz Head: Trade and Investment Intelligence, provides more information in the  linked article»
GIS and remote sensing in agriculture
Precision Farming is one of the latest developments in managing returns from farm assets. However, is this all-encompassing? Are there ways we can improve our decisions? With the combination of remotely sensed data
(satellite imagery, aerial photography, plus others) and GIS, decisions on farm management can be made to maximise returns and reduce costs -

The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) is making an annual bursary of R34 000 (THIRTY-FOUR THOUSAND RAND) available to a South African student registered for a Masters or PhD degree in either agricultural economics or agribusiness management related fields, at any recognised South African university.  The c losing date for applications is 8 December 2017.  More information»
28 - 30 November |  Johannesburg
More information

BFAP ReNAPRI Stakeholder Conference
30 Nov - 1 Dec 2017 | Lagoon Beach Hotel | Cape Town
Information: invitesrenapri@gmail.com

International Conference on Global Food Security 
3-6 December 2017 | Cape Town
More information

VinPro Information Day
18 January 2018 | CTICC | Cape Town

Intellectual Property and South African Seed Legislation Workshop
13 February 2018 | Pretoria 
15 February 2018 |Cape Town

Being a member of Agbiz provides various benefits and opportunities

- Agbiz is the only organisation that serves the broader and common over-arching business interests of agribusinesses in South Africa.
- Agbiz addresses the legislative and policy environment on the many fronts that it impacts on the agribusiness environment.
- Agbiz facilitates considerable top-level networking opportunities so that South African agribusinesses can play an active and creative role within the local and international organised business environment.
- Agbiz research provides sector specific information for informed decision making.
Agbiz newsletter publishes members' press releases and member product announcements.

Please visit the Agbiz website for more information.
Follow us on  Twitter  for quick updates and news.

Like us on Facebook to receive notifications of news.

Third-party website links to this newsletter
The Agbiz Newsletter may contain a few links to websites that belong to third parties unrelated to us.  By making these links available, we are not endorsing third-party websites, their content, products, services or their events.  Agbiz seeks to protect the integrity of its newsletter and links placed upon it, and therefore welcomes any feedback.
In this newsletter