Growers ahead of targets for best practice accreditation

Growers ahead of targets for best practice accreditation
December 16 2020

Queensland’s sugarcane growers are ending the year on a high. Nine months after hitting the milestone of 500 accreditations, a 600th cane farm business has been independently assessed as operating at or above industry best practice under the acclaimed Smartcane BMP program.

“This is evidence of remarkable participation and commitment on behalf of growers and I congratulate everyone involved,” CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan.

“Growers have driven this program to be 18 months ahead of the targets for accreditations agreed to by industry and the Queensland Government as part of its funding support.”

The Wet Tropics and Mackay-Whitsundays regions have exceeded their 2022 targets for hectares accredited while the Burdekin region is on track to do the same, meeting its 2022 target this week.

“The 600 Smartcane BMP accreditations cover more than 138,000 hectares of sugarcane farmland in Queensland, equivalent to 35% of the area planted to cane,” Mr Galligan said.

"They are part of the 81% of the industry engaged with the program including growers who are working with advisers and the program facilitators to benchmark their practices, improve record keeping or, if needed, make changes to meet the standards.”

Smartcane BMP is the first program to achieve recognition by the Queensland Government as satisfying its regulatory requirements around environmental practice for the future of the Great Barrier Reef.

“Smartcane BMP has rigour and integrity and is a gold standard program developed and run by industry,” Mr Galligan said.

“The world is now looking at our sugar as a sustainable product and we need the Queensland and Australian governments to recognise our industry in the same light.

“It is a shame that amongst this great result government reef report cards continue to misrepresent the efforts of growers and fail to acknowledge the true scale of our industry’s commitment to sustainability.”