Enough Sugar for Fiji, Region and Export:FSC
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.”
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.