News and Views

Growers relieved at Code of Conduct commitment

CANEGROWERS has welcomed the announcement that a Code of Conduct will be put in place for the sugar industry to prevent a repeat of the long-running marketing dispute that has left 1500 growers in limbo for the 2017 season.

“This move future-proofs our members and the industry from ever again having to go through the protracted dispute and negotiations we’ve been caught up in since 2014,” CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan said.

“While Queensland legislation has secured the right of growers to choose a marketer for their economic interest sugar, we look forward to this Federal Government sponsored Code as announced by Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce as being the fall-back mechanism in situations where commercial agreements which respect that right can’t be reached.”

CANEGROWERS will work with the Federal Government to ensure that agreements already in place are respected with the introduction of the Code.

“We have QSL and Wilmar Sugar very close to a crucial On-Supply Agreement that will enable growers who supply that company’s mills to sign Cane Supply Agreements which guarantee choice in sugar marketing,” Mr Galligan said.

“That process should now be completed as soon as possible.

“It is distressing for our members that this has dragged on for so long and we welcome the Commonwealth playing such a strong role in preventing it from every happening again.

“Millers in the Queensland sugar industry have a monopoly when it comes to processing the cane our members grow.

“A Code will prevent them from abusing that milling monopoly power just as the Queensland legislation brings competition into the marketing environment.

“We thank the political and other supporters of our industry who have championed the cause of the farming families of the sugar industry and we look forward to putting this saga behind us and getting on with business with these supportive structures in place.”