As the peak body for the sugar milling sector, we
- advocate and promote the interests of our members and oppose unnecessary or detrimental regulation
- take proactive positions to government that provide solution options rather than problems, and we
- partner with grower organisations through the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance (ASA) to develop strategies that are progressive, ambitious, and collaborative.
The federal Review of the Sugar Code of Conduct is a current policy priority
Our submission on behalf of the sugar milling companies included the following recommendations:
- The sugar code should be repealed, allowing industry to focus on commercial relationships and mechanisms to manage the production and marketing of sugar.
- Industry bodies should collaborate on the development of a whole-of-industry revitalisation, .strategic plan, through wide consultation with industry participants, to provide a roadmap towards a more sustainable and profitable Australian sugar industry.
While we acknowledge the views of some growers in relation to the code, the milling sector’s experience is different. We believe the code, and the Queensland sugar legislation, has only added risk and cost to the industry.
We also note that the most important relationship within the Australian sugar industry is that between a sugarcane grower and their mill. Without the support of local growers, mills would have no sugarcane to mill to produce raw sugar, and without local mills, sugarcane growers would have no market for their product.
The review comes at a time when industry viability is under a cloud due to external pressures including low sugar prices. World sugar price have fallen 25% in 2018 due to subsidised production in other countries. As an industry, growers and millers collectively are also facing challenges to our social licence to operate on public health and environmental grounds.
The industry must come together to focus our efforts on these external pressures. We need to eliminate hurdles such as excessive regulation that threaten our ability to innovate and remain internationally competitive.