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Sweet NSW sugar industry watches souring QLD relations

CEO of Sunshine Sugar Mr Chris Connors monitors the goings on in the Australian sugar sector with great interest, bemused and concerned of late about the overall disharmony in the Queensland cane industry.

Turmoil abounds in much of Queensland where grower’s sentiments are souring due to strained relationships with some millers, in particular Singaporean company Wilmar which owns over 50% of sugar milling production in Queensland and dominates the refined domestic market.

The simple fact that the growing and the milling of sugar cane are critically interwoven seems to be ignored – both growers and millers need to be sustainable and the relationships and decisions need to be managed at the local level. In some cases, that required relationship has clearly broken down.

In NSW the situation couldn’t be further removed. Sunshine Sugar’s partnership between local growers and Australian-owned business Manildra encompasses growing through to milling, refining and marketing of the end sugar products for the entire NSW sugar industry.

Chris said; “The NSW sugar industry is a very inclusive one in which the growers and business owners are across just about every aspect of the business. Growers are fully informed of our marketing and sales program and are continually updated on outcomes.”

Ross Farlow, Chairman of Canegrowers backed up the statements. “In fact, some of our growers play an important role in the customer relationships, especially in our export program where stability in sugar production and delivery are a requisite. The arrangements we put in place to assist Queensland’s Rocky Point growers at the end of last season is just one example of how a collaborative approach can deliver the right outcomes for all parties.”

Chris went on to say that Sunshine Sugar welcomes and supports growers and cane land investors with open arms and would gladly work with those looking to get involved in a collaborative and successful sector.