COVID-19 sugarcane industry updates

COVID-19 sugarcane industry updates

The impact of the COVID-19 virus is being felt across the sugar industry as it is in our communities and around the world. CANEGROWERS will continue to serve sugarcane growers through these enormously volatile times.

UPDATE September 2021

A number of Australia's sugar regions have been included in COVID-19 movement restrictions during the 2021 season.

Scroll down for more information on:

This page is being updated as more information becomes available.
you can't find what you're looking for, email CANEGROWERS


Health and safety

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself, your family and workers from serious illness. The Queensland Government has a fact sheet and information for agribusiness employers, and encourages business owners and workers in agriculture to seek vaccination. It is free for everyone in Australia. An appointment can be booked at Queensland Health or at a participating GP or community health service. 

CANEGROWERS has produced a two-page Sugarcane Farm COVID-19 Guide which is available for download here or by clicking the image. It contains information on minimising the risk to people on your farm and what to do if someone becomes ill.

Queensland Health requires a COVID Safe Checklist and a Workplace Health Management Plan to be submitted if any staff or contractors are employed from interstate OR are Queensland residents not staying at their permanent place of residence while they work. A template for a Health Plan including instructions on lodging it is available as a Word document to download here.

A record of employees on the farm needs to be kept and the Check In Qld App can be used for this.

It is not mandatory to have a Health Plan if you only employ staff and contractors who live locally and go home after work but it is recommended that you do so to satisfy WH&S obligations.

To learn more about Health Management Plans for businesses employing workers the Department of Agriculture has recorded a podcast which can be found here

Other information and resources to help farms comply with measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 are here:

Sugar Research Australia has produced a farm hygiene video. SRA's Leader for Disease Management Dr Rob Magerey outlines cleaning measures for surfaces incorporating advice from the World Health Organisation. Watch the video on YouTube here

Workforce management

Are you employing someone who needs to travel into Queensland from elsewhere?

Border restrictions change depending on outbreaks of COVID-19 and there may be different conditions depending on which borders a worker needs to cross to get to your farm.

The requirements for entry to Queensland for people involved in agriculture, including what permit may be needed, can be found on this Queensland Government, Business Queensland website. There is a flowchart to guide you and your worker.

The NFF website contains the information about all COVID-19 border controls


Do you need to find farm labour now or in the near future?  These suggestions may help:

Business and farm management

The Queensland Government has a range of assistance measures which may be relevant for farm businesses. Information is available on the Business Queensland website:


Services and Programs

CANEGROWERS is representing the industry on Queensland State Disaster Management committee and the Queensland Government's Agricultural Coordination Group to consider supply chain, workplace health and safety, workforce availability and business continuity impacts. CANEGROWERS also meets with the National Farmers' Federation and the Federal Agriculture Minister to talk about the national policy response.

CANEGROWERS has convened an Australian sugar industry working group to assess and plan for the short, medium and long term impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. It brings together on regular teleconferences, grower representatives with people from the mills, marketers and port facilities to work through possible scenarios and ensure there is cooperation at every level. Read the full media release here


While the situation is constantly changing, please be assured that CANEGROWERS is continuing, as always, to work on your behalf. Your CANEGROWERS staff will be supporting sugarcane growers through this time of upheaval although at times it may be necessary to change some of the ways in which we operate.

If you are a CANEGROWERS member and are not receiving Grower Updates by email from CEO Dan Galligan please email us at

CANEGROWERS Insurance remains open for business. Our network of brokers is available to assist you with all types of insurance, including claims.
Find your local broker's phone number and email on the CANEGROWERS Insurance page.


Do you still have a question about COVID-19 and the sugarcane industry?

Email CANEGROWERS and we'll try to help