Growers want choice
SOME millers claim a right to independently market and sell the sugar they derive from the cane supplied by growers and is only prepared to participate in discussions that are based on such a right. In my opinion that ‘right’ does not currently exist and would only exist if the terms of any future cane supply/sugar supply contracts give that right. The fact that some millers are in effect stating that future supply agreements with growers must be based on that right , is a clear example of a monopoly miller dictating important supply contract arrangements.
Millers, however, appear to be stating that they will only contract and deal with growers on the basis that they have said right. In the face of such an attitude, government intervention is needed to provide a statutory ‘grower choice’ regime to give growers a say in who markets the grower economic interest sugar for which they have price exposure under their cane supply agreements. I believe this may be achieved relatively simply at either a State or Federal Government level through amendments to the Queensland Sugar Industry Act 1999, or via a mandatory industry code under the Federal Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
In my opinion, grower choice in marketing is the best pathway to market for our sugar and the regional communities impacted by what happens in our industry.
Kerry Latter Chief Executive Officer CANEGROWERS MACKAY