Enough Sugar for Fiji, Re­gion and Ex­port:FSC

Fiji Sun - - BUSINESS - CHARLES CHAM­BERS The dif­fer­ent size pak­ages of sug­ars of Fiji. Feed­back: charles.cham­bers@fi­jisun.

The Fiji Sugar Cor­po­ra­tion (FSC) has as­sured the pub­lic that it has enough sugar sup­ply for the coun­try, the Pa­cific re­gion and a ma­jor ex­port mar­ket un­til crush­ing be­gins next month. FSC chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Gra­ham Clark has also as­sured that the pack­ag­ing plant will not close down as has been re­ported at Lau­toka.

“We have enough sugar for lo­cal sup­ply and re­gional mar­kets and we should have some left­over when the mills be­gin dur­ing the crush­ing sea­son,” Mr Clark said. He added that the present stock also in­cluded the first bulk ship­ment of 30,000 tonnes which is des­tined for Europe in July.

Mr Clark said any re­ports con­trary to the plant clos­ing down and staff be­ing laid off was un­true. “Pack­ag­ing at our plant in Lau­toka will carry on as nor­mal and noth­ing changes,” he said in re­ply to re­ports that the plant would be closed this week.

“There will be no lay off of staff at the pack­ag­ing plant also.

“We ac­tu­ally need full hands on deck for pack­ag­ing as the de­mand is there.

“We are also look­ing at a change into our pack­ag­ing packs to make it fully degrad­able.

“The present packs are still be­ing used but the prob­lems be­ing brought by the COVID-19 pan­demic would mean an in­crease in costs for pur­chase of the new packs. “But go­ing fully degrad­able on our packs and the in­crease in costs are some­thing we are look­ing at for the fu­ture.”

Mill main­te­nance

Mean­while, Mr Clark said progress on the main­te­nance of the mills was on sched­ule de­spite a fall by 10 per cent fol­low­ing Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Harold which passed through Fiji last month.

“At present we have brought that down to five per cent and work to bring that fig­ure down fur­ther. “The open­ing of the sup­ply chains has brought the main­te­nance pro­gramme back up again and this in­cludes all the spare parts which we had or­dered and now ar­riv­ing in Fiji.”

The Labasa Sugar Mill will be­gin this year’s crush­ing sea­son on June 10, fol­lowed by Rarawai Mill on June 23 and Lau­toka Mill the next day.

He ex­pects crush­ing of the es­ti­mated 1.84 mil­lion tonnes of sugar cane to end by the end of Novem­ber.

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