Moves by NSW Senator David Leyonhjelm to reverse a hard-fought decision to introduce a sugar marketing code of conduct are both ignorant and arrogant. Senator Leyonhjelm wants to scrap the Sugar Marketing Code of Conduct, and he claims he has the support of Labor senators to do so. This is an arrogant stance by a NSW Senator with no experience or understanding of the sugar industry. He calls cane farmers ‘socialists’ and he says their arguments for a right to a say over who markets their sugar are ‘piss-weak’.
FOREIGN-owned millers such as Wilmar and Mitr Phol need to stop throwing temper tantrums and get on with business. Wilmar is saying it will not sign any further agreements for next year’s crop and Mitr Phol has announced that it was cease all new investment across its Australian sugar business. Both foreign millers are reacting to the passing of legislation in State Parliament to ensure growers have choice over who markets their sugar. These foreign-owned millers are behaving like two-year-olds chucking a tantrum because the parliament hasn’t done what they wanted.
THOUGH a small group of sugar cane growers in the Burdekin have exercised their right to sign up with Wilmar mills for the 2017 season this hardly resolves the marketing issue for the vast majority of growers who are fighting for the right to say no to the foreign-owned miller. About 30 independent growers signed interim arrangements for the 2017 season. But this is not a deal which has been accepted by any collective, as both Pioneer Cane Growers and Burdekin District Cane Growers groups remain opposed to Wilmar’s plans to take full control of the marketing of sugar.