Queensland Sugar Limited held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Brisbane this morning, with those in attendance joined by participants dialling in via video conference for the first time.

QSL Chairman Guy Cowan said the inaugural hybrid AGM format was reflective of the changed world ushered in by COVID-19.

“For an industry familiar with dramatic fluctuations and unexpected developments, it must be said that the past financial year certainly set a new standard for curve balls,” he said.

Mr Cowan said QSL had moved quickly as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged to introduce measures to protect their logistics and sales activities, and used their strong lines of credit to maintain continuity of payment for their Miller and Grower members throughout this period of heightened uncertainty. 

“Throughout the global health and economic crisis which has dominated 2020, QSL has provided a continuity of service that has been integral to the Queensland sugar industry’s successful operations,” he said.

Mr Cowan said that while COVID-19 had shone a light on the strengths and value of QSL, it had also served as a reminder that QSL was more than just a sugar marketing and logistics company.

“QSL’s constitution states that our principal object is to promote the development of the Queensland sugar industry, and we are always looking for new ways we can do this,” he said.

Mr Cowan said current industry challenges, such as declining productivity, reducing land under cane and aging farmers, had caused QSL to look at how they may be able to assist the cane farming sector by attracting new and continued investment.

“These kinds of activities are not new, and we are currently evaluating a number of existing initiatives in other agricultural sectors, with the intent to apply these learnings where we can in order to identify and develop projects that attract investment to the Queensland sugar industry,” he said.

“While the challenges and opportunities vary in each region, our efforts are driven by a common requirement that any potential project must be done in a way that protects our pool returns and the important value we deliver to industry through this core business function. We look forward to working with our members and other stakeholders during the year ahead to identify new ways to add value to the industry we serve.”

Mr Cowan also used his Chairman’s Address to announce his retirement from the QSL Board at the end of the coming three-year term.

“My time on this Board has been both personally gratifying and enjoyable, and I genuinely look forward to working with my fellow directors and the wider QSL team to ensure a successful transition before finishing my time on the Board as of 31 December 2023.”

Key highlights from the 2019/2020 Financial Year include:

QSL Marketing

  • Remained the largest marketer of Queensland sugar
  • QSL-managed ICE 11 pools outperformed the market average by $14.64 per tonne IPS
  • The QSL Direct platform was extended to Far Northern Milling growers

QSL Operations

  • Extended the Strategic Operating Agreement with Sugar Terminals Limited (STL)
  • Received 3.62 million tonnes at STL’s six sugar terminals, unloading 43,190 trucks and 44,601 train wagons
  • Loaded 113 sugar ships and delivered 98% of shipments in full, on time and within specification

QSL Corporate Services

  • Renewed its finance facilities 
  • Launched a new price alert service on the QSL App

For further details regarding the 2020 QSL AGM, please click on the links below:

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