CANEGROWERS members will attend public hearings in major sugarcane regions this week and next to make sure the panel reviewing the Sugar Code of Conduct understands how important the Code is to growers.
“Since April 2017, this Code has sat as a safety net in the background of our industry, preventing mills from abusing their monopoly power when they negotiate with growers in each district,” CANEGROWERS Chairman Paul Schembri said.
“This is important for growers because the distance between mills and the perishable nature of sugarcane once its cut means growers can’t choose which milling company they supply their crop to.
“The Code doesn’t impose any onerous or difficult conduct – it simply requires that in commercial negotiations, each party acts reasonably, fairly and honestly without intimidation.
“Importantly it provides for an arbitration mechanism if there’s a deadlock.”
As well as address the imbalance of power that exists when growers and milling companies are negotiating, the Code supports competition in sugar marketing services by working in parallel with the Queensland Sugar Industry Act.
“The Code’s mechanisms for certainty and security underpin grower confidence to continue to invest in our industry, to get on with the business of producing high quality export sugar for the global market and drive regional economies,” Mr Schembri said.
“We are calling for the Code to remain in place for the long-term stability of our industry.
“CANEGROWERS members look forward to contributing to this review as the panel tours the sugarcane growing regions.”
The public hearings are listed here