Agbiz Grain supports the sector wide application for appeal to prevent the implementation of inspections by LEAF Services on 12 July 2021.
Leaf Services has completed their review of the industry’s feedback provided regarding the revised notice that was published on 23 April 2021.
• To accommodate feedback from industry, Leaf Services have engaged with DALRRD to make changes to the SOP for the risk-based profiling of FBOs dealing with regulated grain and grain products. Leaf services’ approach will be to start by viewing all FBOs as low risk and do a minimum number of inspections to enable a risk- based classification of FBOs. Leaf Services will start with 4 inspections per year of each FBO, and adjust upwards only where non-conformances encountered justify an upwards adjustment. This enables a reduction in the size of the inspectorate required, as well as a reduction in the budget for laboratory analysis, travel and subsistence. The impact of these changes result in a reduction in the Leaf Services budget from R89 million to R72 million. The inspectorate required for local production has been reduced from 26 inspectors to 15.
• There were several comments stating that imported grain for processing must not be inspected. The instruction from DALRRD is that all imported grain must be inspected to local standards.
• The suggestion from several industry participants is that the existing method of collecting fees at the first point of sale makes the most sense for a variety of reasons. Leaf Services have not received any feedback to suggest that this approach would be to the detriment of any party, and they support this change.
• Leaf Services intent to proceed and to publish a final notice on 25 June 2021 to reflect the changes that they have incorporated as a result of feedback received. The final notice communicates the starting date for inspections on 12 July 2021. Provisions were also made in the notice for registering on the Leaf Services’ website to gain access to the portal for reporting of volumes from Monday 21 June 2021.
Leon du Plessis, convenor of the Leaf Working Group, received several requests from sectors for an urgent meeting to discuss the implementation of inspections by LEAF Services, which seems to be planned for 12 July 2021. The next meeting of the LEAF Working Group will therefore be held virtually at 14:00 on Monday, 28 June 2021.