News and Views

Success in farmer campaign for choice and competition

CANEGROWERS members in the four Queensland regions with Wilmar Sugar mills are finally exercising their right to choose how their interest in the raw sugar made from their cane is priced and sold.

After tough negotiations led by CANEGROWERS District leaders, growers are now signing collective Cane Supply Agreements (CSAs) which guarantee choice and competition in sugar marketing and allow the 2017 harvest and crush to commence.

“This finally draws a line under the 2014 bid by Wilmar to seize a monopoly in the provision of marketing services in the districts in which it operates,” CANEGROWERS Chairman Paul Schembri said.

“The finalisation of these CSAs is a triumph for all CANEGROWERS members and their collective determination to choose their own path to business security.

“Farmers have had to stand firm in their resolve for choice, they have rallied and written letters, sent delegations to Brisbane and Canberra and stayed the course through countless hours of negotiations to ultimately see this process through to a successful end.”

CANEGROWERS says the finalisation of the CSAs in the Herbert River, Burdekin, Proserpine and Plane Creek districts has proven that commercial agreements can be negotiated under the amended Sugar Industry Act which guarantees choice and competition in sugar marketing services.

“In the face of negativity and pessimism, growers have remained positive and held a keen eye on a more stable future with competitive forces at play in the marketing of sugar,” Mr Schembri said.

“Growers can decide for themselves whether Wilmar Sugar or the industry-owned QSL, or in the future any other marketer that wants to operate in Queensland, offers the best option for their business.

“Competition fosters innovation and efficiency and both Wilmar and QSL are now working hard to convince our growers to select their marketing proposals.

“The industry can now move forward focussing on with what it does best – producing and selling quality raw sugar to the world.”

CANEGROWERS members should contact their local office for instructions on completing the CSA for their district.

Source: Canegrowers

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