CANEGROWERS, the peak body for Queensland sugarcane farmers, has welcomed the news that signatures are now on a crucial sugar industry contract paving the way for members to supply Wilmar mills this season.
“After watching months of negotiation and even mediation, it is with relief that we acknowledge this On-Supply Agreement has been signed. It will guarantee our members a choice of either Wilmar or QSL as their raw sugar marketer,” CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan said.
“This whole long saga was triggered in 2014 by Wilmar moving to take a monopoly marketing position but through our members’ determination and persistence, and with political support, we are now seeing the final pieces of the puzzle falling into place and competition being guaranteed in the provision of sugar marketing services.”
CANEGROWERS district negotiating teams are now finalising Cane Supply Agreements to ensure they are compatible with this OSA.
Local offices in the Mackay, Proserpine, Burdekin and Herbert River regions will advise members when their district-specific collective CSA is ready for signing.
“With Wilmar mills scheduled to start up within three weeks, we are urging Wilmar to avoid stalling any further and progress the CSAs with our representatives as soon as possible,” Mr Galligan said.
“Growers cannot harvest or send cane to a mill without a CSA. Every other milling company locked in CSAs and, where necessary, an OSA months ago.
“While we have been waiting for this Wilmar-QSL OSA to be finalised, growers could not forward price their 2017 sugar and this has caused considerable stress and anxiety.
“This has been a long and arduous journey but one that CANEGROWERS and our members have been proud to fight and determined to win – growers will have choice and there will be competition in sugar marketing services!”