Grow­ers want choice

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY NEWS AND VIEWS -

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

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