There must be a fast-tracked resolution to the stand-off between 1,000s of cane farmers in the North who have no Cane Supply Agreement (CSA) which allows them to forward price to capture these fundamentally high prices.
The Katter’s Australia Party Sugar Industry (Real Choice in Marketing) Amendment Bill, that passed in December 2015, was put through Queensland Parliament so growers could have choice.
All but one of the seven sugar milling companies has signed a CSA, outlining that the KAP’s Amendment Bill is workable.
Wilmar is the only company not to sign a CSA – and as it stands now, it is their way or the highway.
This sulking by Wilmar shows that the KAP Bill has had the desired effect to restore some balance in the market between individual growers and large, multi-national millers.
The KAP stands by growers and our Bill ensures an even playing field and the ability to have choice in marketer.
It was absurdity to have a grower told they couldn’t sell to the same company they had been selling to for many years. Growers deserve choice and we call for Wilmar to negotiate fairly with growers, like the other six millers have done.
Wilmar recently posted an average of $37.31 per tonne of cane, compared to $43 per tonne with Queensland Sugar Ltd (as reported in The Townsville Bulletin, 19/1/2017). For some growers, that can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars less per year for their product.
This is precisely why we fought long and hard for the KAP Sugar Industry (Real Choice in Marketing) Amendment Bill.
The KAP secured passage of the private members bill through Parliament in late 2015 to ensure a fair playing field was in place between growers and millers.
It supports the industry more than the previous legislation, giving growers a choice whether they want the mills to market their sugar, or Queensland Sugar Limited.
The KAP had no other option but to investigate and amend the Sugar Act, as milling companies gave notice to their growers in 2014 that it wouldn’t use QSL as their platform.
– KAP State Leader, Robbie Katter