Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

Media Releases

ASA media contact:

info@sugaralliance .com.au

 

  • 23 APRIL 2015: Crunch time for TPP

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    23 APRIL 2015:

    Crunch time for TPP

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance has sent in two high profile Australian sugar industry representatives, Warren Males and Dominic Nolan, to critical trade talks in the United States this week.

     

    Pressure is mounting to conclude the all-important Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement; a proposed trade agreement involving 12 nations.  Being the last negotiations before the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Ministerial meeting slated for May, Males and Nolan will be continuing to press the case for the TPP to be a modern 21st century trade agreement that includes new market access opportunities for sugar.

     

    It’s long been a sticky topic for the Australian sugar industry, with sugar traditionally regarded as a sensitive commodity in trade talks, but according to Paul Schembri of the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance (ASA), this retrograde thinking simply has no place in this day and age and Australian farmers will be pushing back hard against being used as a senseless trade-off.

     

    “An agreement that entrenches the status quo is not an option,” he told media today.  “Improved access for Australian sugar must be a part of any modern agreement.”

     

    As far as Mr Schembri is concerned, he believes that it is nothing short of strange that those opposing the TPP would deny improved access for Australian sugar and other agricultural exports to the important North American and Asian markets.

     

    “It’s ironic that the US supports such a heavily protectionist system at home when it rails against such structures in Canada and is looking to open access to Japan’s agricultural markets,” he says.

     

    “To the Australian sugar industry the TPP means opportunity. Trade brings people together, it creates jobs, it lifts incomes, and it builds strong economies and communities,” he says.

     

    “The TPP negotiations give Australia a golden opportunity to get in and fix unfair trade rules - rules which are disadvantaging Australia’s agricultural industries.

     

    “Exclusions only serve to distort the world market, impacting the ability of export customers to access the most competitive sugar available on the market.”

     

    Mr Schembri says that, unlike our sugarcane and sugar beet producing cousins in the US, Australian cane growers do not enjoy the benefits of a complicated sugar price support system that is based on a domestic supply management system.

     

    Meanwhile the pressure to conclude talks is on and President Obama is reportedly seeking the “most far reaching and progressive” congressional authority to conclude the TPP.

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance remains doggedly focused on improving sugar access in Japan, Mexico and the U.S. “There is absolutely no reason unsubsidised Australian sugar should be denied access to the US market,” says Mr Schembri.  “To do so would be contrary to the US sugar industry’s claim that it is ‘highly efficient and would thrive in a subsidy-free market’. The TPP offers an opportunity to put the U.S. industry’s claim to the test.”

     

    Media contacts:

    • Media comment: Paul Schembri  |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance, Trade Committee Chairman  |  0417 604 196

    • More information: Warren Males  |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance, Head - Economics |  0417 002 325

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 9 MAR 2015: Watershed trade negotiation ahead for sugar

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    9 MAR 2015:

    Watershed trade negotiation ahead for sugar

     

    Australia’s sugar industry is fighting tooth and nail for Australian sugar’s full and rightful inclusion in the forthcoming all important Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, with the next round of negotiations due to take place in Hawaii next week.

     

    A strong TPP is critically important for our home grown industries; none more so than Australian sugar which has often been left disadvantaged by deals cut which have excluded sugar.

     

    “These kinds of protectionist antics used by countries to prop up their sugar industries, distort the world market and at the end of the day reduce Australia’s export earnings,” says Chairman of the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance, Paul Schembri.

     

    “It’s important to remember that it’s the farmers dotted along the coast and the 24 mills they supply who are the backbone of this  important Australian export industry. The rural and regional communities who rely on the industry’s export income suffer when countries exclude or minimise the access of Australian sugar to world markets.”

     

    Mr Schembri says if the most efficient industries are given an environment to do what they do best, it drives efficiency, effectiveness and innovation. Protecting inefficient industries takes away the revenue and ability from those doing it well.

     

    “If we want the Australian sugar industry to grow, to create jobs and deliver on its underlying strengths, we must give it its best shot at competing on the world stage.  Agreeing to restrict access to its markets puts Australian sugar at a distinct disadvantage,” he says.

     

    The Australian sugar industry took heart in the recent assurance by the Prime Minister that the government is ‘determined to ensure that we get the best possible deal for the sugar producers of Australia’.

     

    “The industry strongly and fully supports Australia’s efforts, led by Trade Minister Robb and a professional DFAT negotiating team, to secure a comprehensive trade agreement with no product exclusions,” says Mr Schembri.

     

    Access to the US market must be opened and the levies that prevent high quality Australia sugar entering Japan removed.

     

    Why should Mexican sugar, which is subject of an antidumping countervailing duty trade dispute, have better access to the US than unsubsidised Australian sugar?

     

    “We just want a fair go for sugar.”

     

    Mr Schembri is all too aware that the negotiations will be tough, but is resolute that it can and must be done.  He says that in this day and age, politics should not be allowed to trump economics, pointing to the epic failure of sugar’s exclusion in the Australia-US FTA. He says this cannot be repeated.

     

    “Despite the efforts of the US sugar lobby, strong political support for a comprehensive TPP agreement is building in the US. We are working closely with the Australian government and our international counterparts to counter the strongly protectionist agricultural lobbies in the US, Japan and Mexico,” he says.

     

    “It will take courage and passion to get a fair and equitable outcome, but it is worth fighting tooth and nail for.

     

    “The long term profitability and viability of the Australian sugar industry and the rural and regional communities it supports depends on it.”

     

    The TPP is a multi-lateral agreement which covers 12 countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam).

     

    Media contacts:

    • Media comment: Paul Schembri  |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance Trade Committee Chairman  |  0417 604 196

    • More information: Warren Males  |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance – Head Economics |  0417 002 325

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 5 FEB 2015: The Thai and Australian sugar industries call on India to resist sugar subsidies

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    5 FEB 2015:

    The Thai and Australian sugar industries call on India to resist sugar subsidies

     

    The Thai and Australian sugar industries have called on the Indian government to resist the introduction of export subsidies, describing the practice as the most disruptive of government policies.

     

    The two industries met in Udonthani, Thailand, for the Eighth Thai-Australia Sugar Industry Dialogue this week; topping the agenda was the threat of India issuing controversial new export subsidies for sugar.

     

    “This is a major concern to both the Thai and Australian industries,” says Mr Cherdpong Siriwit Chairman of the Thai Sugar Millers Corporation.

     

    Paul Schembri Chairman of the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance says you only have to look at how the world market reacted to news that the idea was being entertained, to realise the very real impact that such a decision would have on the global market for sugar.  “It has already impacted world sugar prices, pushing them to a three/five year low,” he said.

     

    Mr Cherdpong Siriwit and Mr Paul Schembri have called on the Indian government to refrain from the use of export subsidies.

     

    “It would be far better for the Indian government to support our friends in the Indian sugar industry by linking the price of sugarcane in India to the price of sugar,” Mr Siriwit told media today.

     

    Mr Schembri agrees, highlighting that this kind of proactive industry policy would benefit instead of skew the world market for sugar.  “This would be a far more sustainable industry structure and eliminate the need for export subsidies, eliminating the world market impact,” he said.

     

    Mr Cherdpong Siriwit and Mr Paul Schembri confirmed that the Australian-Thai Dialogue was an important meeting on the sugar trade calendar for the countries, providing an important opportunity to strengthen the already close relationship between the countries and a chance to discuss matters importance to both industries including trade and market access.

     

    Media contacts:

    • More information: Warren Males  |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance – Head Economics |  0417 002 325

     

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 21 NOV 2014: Mexican Standoff: Australia urges USA not to further distort world sugar market

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    21 NOV 2014:

    Mexican standoff: Australia urges USA not to further distort world sugar market

     

    Australia is on the war path once again to create a level playing field for key agricultural exports. The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance (ASA) has this week tendered a submission to the US Department of Commerce urging it to alter its ‘remedy’ in relation to subsidised Mexican sugar. ASA says the proposed approach will distort the world market and in doing so disadvantage countries who stand on their own merits, such as the Australian sugar industry.

     

    The practice is back in the spotlight after the US and Mexico have reached a tentative agreement in their present dispute over the amount of Mexican sugar entering the US after US authorities found against Mexico in an antidumping countervailing duty case against Mexican sugar entering the US.

     

    In return for the US not imposing antidumping and countervailing duties on sugar imported from Mexico, the Mexican government has agreed to limit the quantity of sugar it sells to the USA.  The quid pro quo is that Mexico will take the first opportunity to supply any additional sugar that may be required to meet shortfalls in US production.

     

    “The “fix” is discriminatory,” says ASA’s Dominic Nolan.

     

    “It effectively cuts Australia and other TRQ suppliers out of the opportunity they would otherwise have to meet these additional US supply needs.

     

    “The trade remedy should place limitations around sugar that has received export subsidies or is dumped into the US market, not reward that practice with additional access at the expense of other suppliers.

     

    “The USA’s trading partners are calling for the USA to ensure that the remedy is not discriminatory against the rights of TRQ suppliers.”

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance remains resolute in its proactive trade position that any country taking subsidised sugar is actively pricing more efficient suppliers in other countries who do not engage in such distortionary tactics out of the market.

     

    “Subsidisation is nothing more than an interventionist policy which distorts markets and prevents the world’s most efficient sugar and lowest cost producers from meeting US import needs,” says Mr Nolan.

     

    Australia is currently the world’s third largest exporter of raw sugar and has been a historical supplier to USA sugar refiners.  The USA is an important export market for Australia.

     

    The terms of any settlement relating to Mexican sugar access to the United States will have a clear and direct adverse impact on the level and value of access for Australian sugar to the US.

     

    “Ultimately, the Australian sugar industry is seeking greater market liberalisation for the global sugar market, and the proposed remedy by the US to the import of subsidised sugar from Mexico goes in exactly the wrong direction.”

     

    Media contacts:

    • Media comment: Dominic Nolan |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance – Joint Secretary  |  0419287734

    • More information: Warren Males  |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance – Head Economics |  0417 002 325

     

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 17 NOV 2014: Sugar missing from China FTA - for now!

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    17 NOV 2014:

    Sugar missing from China FTA - for now!

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance (ASA) is disappointed that sugar is not included in the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement and says it will use every moment of the three-year review process to reach a deal that ensures Australia’s sugar is ultimately part of a comprehensive FTA.

     

    ASA says that TRQ products such as sugar will now be at the core of the review in three year's time and that with China needing to import more sugar in years to come, sugar must be part of a revised agreement.

     

    The sugar alliance has been working overtime to highlight the need for genuine and meaningful trade reforms in all of Australia’s international trade agreements.

     

    Sugar, which has long been a politically sensitive issue in trade agreements, has been oft-time used as a trade off. The sugar group says that ensuring sugar is included, however, would not only be a good outcome for the Australian sugarcane industry but also for the importers of our sugar.

     

    “China’s sugar consumption grows and with it comes a growing need for importing sugar,” says Dominic Nolan speaking on behalf of ASA’s Trade Committee. “Exclusions only serve to distort the world market, impacting the ability of those export customers from accessing the most competitively priced sugar available on the market.

     

    “A comprehensive trade agreement, by its very nature, must include even the most politically sensitive commodities.  Achieving this would be a good outcome for not only the Australian sugarcane industry but also the importers of our sugar.”

     

    ASA says that strong FTAs, without exclusions, boost the sugar trading relationship between countries.  “An FTA which allows exclusions limits opportunities to reach new markets, grow businesses and generate economic growth and jobs,” says Mr Nolan.

     

    He goes on to say that a comprehensive FTA agreement will improve access to markets, lift incomes, create jobs and add to the vibrancy of Queensland's regional sugar economies and communities.

     

    ASA has come out today saying it will redouble its efforts at the upcoming Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, a multi-lateral agreement which covers 12 countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam).

     

    “The Australian sugar industry has maintained an active presence at TPP negotiations from the outset and is committed to seeing commercially meaningful outcomes delivered for the Australian sugarcane industry.  Distortion of the world market cannot be allowed to continue, sugar must be included in the upcoming TPP agreement,” says Mr Nolan.

     

    Media contacts:

    • Media comment: Dominic Nolan |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance – Joint Secretary  |  0419287734

    • More information: Warren Males  |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance – Head Economics |  0417 002 325

     

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 29 APR 2014: Sugar Research Australia's very first strategic plan welcomed by industry

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    29 APRIL 2014:

    Sugar Research Australia’s very first strategic plan welcomed by industry

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance has welcomed the release of Sugar Research Australia’s five year Strategic Plan at the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologist (ASSCT) Conference on the Gold Coast today.

     

    It is the first strategic plan for the relatively new body in the sugar industry, formed mid-2013 to streamline, modernise and replace BSES Limited, the Sugar Research and Development Corporation and aspects of Sugar Research Limited.

     

    “This is an important milestone for the new company,” said ASA Chairman John Pratt who explains that Sugar Research Australia (SRA) invests in and manages a portfolio of research, development and extension projects that drive productivity, profitability and sustainability for the Australian sugarcane industry.

     

    “We look forward to working with SRA on the implementation,” he said.

     

    Mr Pratt reminded the growers and millers who fought to establish SRA that research was a shared responsibility and urged continued interest in the important function for the future of the sugarcane sector.  “Successful delivery is a responsibility not just of SRA, but for the whole of industry, and essential for the future competitiveness and profitability of the Australian sugarcane industry,” he said today.

     

    ASA says the emphasis on cultural change with focus on customers, consultation and collaboration bodes well for the development of a relevant more responsive research and development service to the industry.

     

    The sugar alliance says it is heartening to see the commitment to monitoring and evaluation and overall accountability to the industry and looks forward to seeing this develop.

     

    Mr Pratt says a strong research and development function is critical, so that in another 10 years Australian sugarcane is still held up internationally as front-runners in agricultural innovation. “Australia wants to continue to lead the charge in sugar production on the world stage - and a strong research body will help give industry the tools and direction to do just that,” says Mr Pratt.

     

    Media contacts:

    •        Media comment:  John Pratt  |  ASA Chairman  |  0419 475 297

    •        More information: Suzi Moore  |  Communications  | 
             0427 641 239  |  info@sugaralliance.com.au

     

     

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 08 APR 2014: Japan as disappointing as '04 US free trade agreement for sugar

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    08 APRIL 2014:

    Japan as disappointing as '04 US free trade agreement for sugar

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance has described the outcome of the Japan trade pact for sugar as disappointing as sugar’s exclusion from the US free trade agreement a decade ago.

     

    Far from the deal of the century that it has been touted to be, in terms of total market access for sugar the deal is pyrrhic, and there will be very little change in Australia's access to the Japanese market.

     

    Japan imports 1.5 million tonnes of sugar every year, mostly from Thailand.

     

    The Australian Sugar Alliance (ASA) says Australia's access to the Japanese sugar market has been in decline from 900kt twenty years ago to just 350kt this year.

     

    "We were simply looking to improve the terms of trade to recover some of that lost ground," says Paul Schembri, Chairman of ASA's trade committee.

     

    "But instead we expect to see Australian exports to Japan continue to slide."

     

    Mr Schembri says that Australian sugar industry participants will be justifiably shocked and disheartened. "With the recent gains made in Korea, we fully expected that Japan would also step up to a modern trading platform and that Australia's access for sugar would improve," he said today.

     

    "It is hard to see how this benefits either the Japanese importers or Australia's raw sugar exporters."

     

    ASA says that while the tariff on high quality sugar will be removed under the Japan FTA, this concession doesn’t achieve anything in a practical sense for Australian sugar exports.

     

    Australia has been supplying a specialised Japan-grade sugar for many years to the Japanese market, which is inherently different to the international grade sugar supplied to its other customers. While the announced change of a tariff reduction on international standard sugar from 184% to a 110% effective tariff is welcome, clearly this will not improve Australia’s access to Japan. The tariff remains significantly higher than that of the effective tariff on the special grade sugar that Australia supplies which remains unchanged at 70%.

     

    ASA says that it has clearly been a political decision to hamstring sugar in the agreement, and describes the move as worse than the decision to leave sugar out of the US FTA a decade ago. Japan produces less than 200kt of raw sugar in Okinawa and just 600 kt of beet sugar. ASA says freeing up a competitive marketplace would not have threatened this local industry.

     

    "While we applaud improved access for beef, once again politics has trumped good economic sense for sugar. The deal will not improve the trade environment for Queensland's sugarcane producers, in fact, quite the contrary," says Mr Schembri who explains industry spends hundreds of thousands of dollars annually on trade access working closely with government every step of the way and this outmoded kind of decision leaves more than a sour taste in the industry's mouth.

     

    "Industry has a right to be angry. There is absolutely no reason why the 1.5 million tonnes of sugar imported by Japan every year should not come from the most competitive world player.”

     

    "It is critical that this decision is not replicated in the all-important Trans Pacific Partnership currently under negotiation.”

     

     

    Media contacts:

    • Media comment:    Paul Schembri  |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance Trade Committee Chair  |  0417 604 196

     

    • More information: Suzi Moore  |  Communications  |  0427 641 239 (or if you have any trouble replying to this email address, try media@canegrowers.com.au )

     

     

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 23 FEB 2014: Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Sugar Raw Cane Sugar Producers and Refiners call for a high quality, comprehensive TPP agreement

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    23 FEBRUARY 2014:

    Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Sugar Raw Cane Sugar Producers and Refiners call for a high quality, comprehensive TPP agreement

     

    Sugar industry groups in Australia, Canada and New Zealand are joining voices in calling for a high quality, comprehensive outcome for agricultural liberalisation in a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement.

     

    CANEGROWERS Australia, the Australian Sugar Milling Council, New Zealand’s Chelsea Sugar and the Canadian Sugar Institute are concerned at the current state of TPP negotiations.  An outcome that does not include commercially worthwhile increases in market access for sugar and other sensitive products must be avoided.  The groups are seeking the removal of trade barriers over a short implementation period and the establishment of rules that enable raw sugar, refined sugar and products containing sugar to be freely traded around the region.

     

    There must be no sector, product or tariff line exclusions within a product group.   If any one TPP member country is allowed to claim exceptions for so-called sensitive products, other TPP partners will inevitably demand the right to do the same.

     

    Trade creates opportunity and creates jobs. It brings people together, lifts incomes and builds strong and vibrant economies and communities based on their underlying strengths.  Exclusions would limit opportunities in each of the member countries to reach new markets, grow businesses and generate economic growth and jobs.

    Allowing exceptions even for a few politically sensitive products such as sugar would set a dangerous precedent for the treatment of other products (beef, pork, dairy, rice and grains) and undermine the integrity of the agreement for other countries who aspire to join.

    A weak TPP agreement, with such exclusions, could have significant negative implications on other Free Trade Agreement negotiations underway or in the future.

     

    For all current and future TPP members, it is important that at the end of a short implementation period there be duty free, levy free, surcharge free and quota free access to all markets for sugar and other agricultural products.   A pluri-lateral outcome is essential to ensure that all countries commit to the same tariff phase-out period and reduction for each product.

     

    As well as eliminating tariffs and other forms of border protection for sugar, it is important that  Rules of Origin established by a TPP agreement facilitate trade in raw sugar, refined sugar and all sugar valued added products so that efficient sugar producers around the region can build integrated regional supply chains. Tri-Nations Raw Cane Sugar Producers and Refiners will only support a TPP agreement that includes a high quality, comprehensive outcome for all agricultural products.  This means fully opening TPP markets for sugar.

     

    There is no place in a modern 21st century trade agreement for the continued protection of highly resourced politically sensitive products such as sugar.

     

    The Tri-Nation Sugar Group:

    • Australia Sugar Industry Alliance

    (CANEGROWERS and Australian Sugar Milling Council)

    • Canadian Sugar Institute

    • New Zealand Sugar – Chelsea Sugar

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 12 FEB 2014: "Don't sell Australia short in trade negotiation" says sugar

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    12 FEBRUARY 2014:

     

    "Don't sell Australia short in trade negotiation" says sugar

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance (ASA) says allowing exceptions for one country in the current trade negotiations could lead to the unravelling of the agreement, as other parties pull their offers on sensitive products or their concessions on sensitive products.

     

    They’ve been at Parliament House today briefing Members of Parliament, journalists and other key stakeholders as to the importance of not selling Australia short in trade negotiations.

     

    ASA has called on negotiators for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to cut agricultural tariffs across the board in the proposed trade pact, even on products that some countries would rather see excluded. The Australian sugar industry is working at full speed to counter calls by some countries for sugar to be excluded from the TPP. “If any one TPP member country is allowed to claim exceptions for perceived sensitive products, then other TPP partners will inevitably demand the right to do the same,” the sugar group says.

     

    “A strong TPP, without exclusions, will boost the sugar trading relationship between countries,” says Paul Schembri, Chairman of ASA’s Trade Committee. “A TPP which allows exclusions is weak and would limit opportunities in each of the member countries to reach new markets, grow businesses and generate economic growth and jobs,” he says.

     

    Trade reform talks continue next week in Singapore as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed trade agreement involving 12 nations, nears completion.

     

    Addressing the forum at Parliament House today, ASA delegate, Warren Males told the group that a comprehensive TPP agreement will improve access to markets, lift incomes, create jobs and add to the vibrancy of Queensland's regional sugar economies and communities.

     

    The Australian sugar industry has been an active presence at TPP negotiations from the outset and is committed to seeing commercially meaningful outcomes delivered for the industry. Warren Males, Australian Sugar Industry Alliance trade committee representative, will be on the ground in Singapore as Australia’s TPP trade negotiations continue.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 20 NOV 2013: Sugar must be part of a comprehensive trade deal

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    20 NOVEMBER 2013:

     

    Sugar must be a part of a comprehensive trade deal

     

    Sugar must be part of the latest round of trade deals, says the concerned Australian sugarcane industry.

     

    Australia has always worked hard for sugar to be included in export trade agreements. It’s a battle which has been hard fought, being a commodity which is renowned for having one of the most distorted global markets. According to the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance, countries such as the USA have maintained antiquated protectionist trade policies, which restrict access to its market to keep its domestic prices for sugar high and support its cane and beet sugar producers at the expense of consumers and global markets.

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance says that kind of protectionist behaviour is outmoded and should be a thing of the past for any country which believes itself to have a fair and ethical trade platform.

     

    “There is simply no place for tariffs, quotas or other trade restrictions for any production in a 21st-century trade agreement," says Paul Schembri, Chairman of CANEGROWERS and Chairman of the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance trade committee.

     

    “Being in the midst of negotiating a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement with the US, Japan and ten other countries in the Asia-Pacific, this is the time to push back hard against any proposed exclusions of agricultural products.”

     

    The Australian sugar industry is taking a hard line against the distorted sugar market, saying the distortions must be removed to lift global prices to adequately reflect unsubsidised costs of production.

     

    Other agricultural commodities are taking a huge interest in sugar’s trade battle, cognisant that excluding sugar would mean that other TPP countries would likely seek to exclude other so-called sensitive products such as rice, dairy, wheat, barley and pork as well as sugar from the TPP.

     

    “This is an outcome which would not sit at well with the broader agricultural communities in Australia, New Zealand or the USA,” says Mr Schembri.

     

    “The health of the Australian economy is linked to the strength of our export markets.

     

    “Fair trade must include market access gains for all agricultural products. There must be no exclusions.

     

    “In relation to sugar, the TPP agreement must include new market access opportunities for sugar, with annual increases thereafter, until open access is achieved and sugar can flow unimpeded around the region.

     

    “This will be an important step for sugar market liberalisation as part of the more challenging multi-lateral discussions that continue at the World Trade Organisation.

     

    The Australian sugar industry is working closely with the Australian Government on opening up blocked trade avenues for sugar, hoping that the industry’s efforts will see sugar as the sweetener the latest trade negotiations need to unlock the current export market access impasse.

     

    Eighty percent of Australian sugar is exported. Australian sugarcane farmers are the only sugarcane producers in the world who don't operate with subsidies or price supports.

     

    Removing barriers to markets will make Australian sugar more attractive to importers and create more opportunity for our exports says the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance.

     

    Dominic Nolan, CEO of the Australian Sugar Milling Council and member of the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance trade committee, is currently in the USA progressing Australia’s position on the inclusion of sugar in the TPP.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 01 JUL 2013: Sugar Research Australia signed, sealed, delivered

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    1 JULY 2013:

     

    Sugar Research Australia signed, sealed, delivered.

     

    Today is a landmark day for the Australian sugarcane industry as a streamlined new body for sugar research, Sugar Research Australia (SRA), can move into full operation.

     

    The new body will refocus the sugarcane industry’s research function, with an emphasis on providing services to further build on Australia’s reputation as a world class producer of sugar.

     

    Sugar industry leaders have welcomed the passage of legislation that now paves the way for the new industry-owned research company to become the focus of research for the Australian sugarcane industry.

     

    “Starting today, Sugar Research Australia will be funded by a new statutory levy of 70 cents per tonne (35 cents to be paid by growers, and 35 to be paid by millers) paid on all processed sugarcane,” says CANEGROWERS Chairman Paul Schembri.

     

    “The three existing bodies, BSES Limited, Sugar Research and Development Corporation (SRDC) and the research elements of Sugar Research Limited (SRL) will be streamlined into a highly performing, modern outfit that we intend to build up to become the envy of the world,” he says.

     

    “SRA provides a new well financed research company that we believe will draw out the very best results from the many world leading sugar industry researchers we have here in Australia.”

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance backed by CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC) pressed ahead with forming the new Company in early May this year ahead of the completion of the Parliamentary process so that it would be ready to operate at full efficiency from the outset in early July.

     

    Quinton Hildebrand, Chairman of ASMC, says the formation of SRA will see a significant improvement in performance and coordination of sugar research. The new company will also have certainty of funding with the introduction of the statutory levy strongly supported by an industry ballot in August 2012.

     

    “We expect our annual investment in research to be in the order of $18M to $20M with the new company structured to attract the full quota of matching Federal Government funding of 0.5% of the value of industry production, expected to be around $5.5 - $6 million annually,” said Hildebrand.

     

    Both leaders acknowledged the strong support from industry stakeholders through the past few years as the reform process has been rolled out. They also acknowledged the support of the former Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig and his Department to achieve this July start for Sugar Research Australia as the industry services body funded by a new statutory levy of 70 cents per tonne, shared equally between growers and processors of the sugarcane.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 06 MAR 2013: Sugarcane growers - your BSES asset vote papers are on the way says ASA

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    6 MARCH 2013:

     

    Sugarcane growers - your BSES asset vote papers are on the way says ASA

     

    Sugarcane growers who are BSES members will receive their BSES asset transfer voting information pack in the mail soon with all the material they need. Growers are being encouraged to tick the BSES Chairman as their proxy, tick Yes-agree, sign the form and to post it back to BSES by 4 April.

     

    The BSES Directors are moving the resolution to transfer the BSES assets directly to Sugar Research Australia Limited soon after it is formed. The BSES Board has publicly stated its full support for the formation of SRA and is recommending that all BSES Members agree to the transfer of assets by voting Yes-Agree. The votes will be counted at the BSES General Meeting the Directors have called for 10 April 2013 in Brisbane.

     

    “Not all sugarcane growers are registered members of BSES, even though they pay the BSES service fees. You will know if you are a registered member when you receive the papers from BSES. This is an important next working step in implementing the Sugar Poll 2012 84% YES vote to establish Sugar Research Australia,” Steve Greenwood Chief Executive of CANEGROWERS explained today.

     

    “The grower and miller participation in the Sugar Poll vote last year was fantastic and even though this vote to transfer assets is procedural, ASA is encouraging all BSES members to fill in the proxy form and vote Yes-agree so we can keep moving ahead towards the new company, Sugar Research Australia,” says Dominic Nolan, CEO of the Australian Sugar Milling Council.

     

    “It is one of the next big steps in the SRA formation process, we are close to the finish line. We urge every grower and miller member of BSES to cast their vote to keep this important process on track,” Steve Greenwood said.

     

    CANEGROWERS says that, above all, the research function for Australia needs to be cutting edge if Australian cane growers are to remain competitive on the world market onto which 80% of Australia’s sugar is sold.

     

    “The vast majority of sugarcane growers agree that, far more important than keeping a traditional brand, is getting bang for their buck – so their hard earned levies are not wasted on administration and replication of services. They need sugar research to be more than just a brand – they need it to perform – and perform at a high level. And that’s what SRA will deliver.”

     

    For interviews or other information contact:

    Steve Greenwood, CEO, CANEGROWERS, 0488 721 156

    Dominic Nolan, CEO, ASMC, 0419 287 734

     

    More information:

    For more information on the Sugar RDE& Reform program, the Sugar Poll 2012 vote, SRA governance documents, and recent updates see www.sugarpoll.com.au

     

     

    In August last year, 3,381 sugarcane growers and 8 milling companies voted in the Sugar Poll 2012, with over 84% voting YES for the industry to establish Sugar Research Australia Limited backed by a statutory levy, paid equally (35c by the grower and 35c by the miller) on each tonne of cane delivered in place of the current BSES fees and SRDC levy.

     

    Other key SRA formation actions underway:

     

    Sugar Research Australia Chair and Directors. These new roles were advertised in mid February. There have been many applications and interviewing will take place in early April. The new Board will likely be formed in early May 2013. Expressions of Interest were also sought in February for the SRA Research Funding Panel.

     

    With the Chair and Directors identified, Sugar Research Australia Limited, the company, would be registered in early May, well in time for all the transitioning of activities, staff and assets needed for SRA to operate fully from July 2013.

     

    Detailed inputs are being provided to the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to assist the levy legislation process over March to June.

     

    From mid March, communication and consultation sessions will be held involving staff of current organisations on staffing arrangements being developed for Sugar Research Australia as a modern research management and research company with aligned focus and a new charter and culture.

    v

    Sugar Research Australia should start with about 150 staff roles. It is expected almost all SRA positions will be filled by staff in existing sugar research organisations. At the senior level, the organisation structure of SRA will need to differ from BSES to fulfil functions set out in the ASA documents on forming Sugar Research Australia. A number of new or substantially changed SRA positions are to be advertised late in March 2013 including for a Director of the SRA Research Funding Unit and Unit staff.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 19 DEC 2012: Sugar Research Reform, 1 JULY 2013 target for Sugar Research Australia

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    19 DECEMBER 2012:

     

    Sugar Research Reform, 1 JULY 2013 target for Sugar Research Australia

     

    For the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance (ASA), and founding organisations, CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council, 2012 has been the year of on-target reform of sugar industry research, development and extension (RD&E) arrangements.

     

    The unambiguous YES vote by over 84% of grower and miller voters in the August Sugar Poll 2012, gave industry leaders the green light by growers and millers to move forward with plans to form Sugar Research Australia, a new Industry Owned Company that will consolidate and modernise the industry’s existing research structures by bringing in assets and activities of BSES, SRDC and aspects of SRL.

     

    Right on schedule, on 20 September, ASA lodged a full application to Senator Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in Canberra on establishing an Industry Owned Company, 'Sugar Research Australia', with the industry supported new statutory levy of 70c/t each harvest year (35c/t to be paid each by the grower and the miller in place of BSES fees and the SRDC levy).

     

    “An industry-backed new, single, modern research organisation is crucial for the long term sustainable growth of our industry," said Alf Cristaudo, Chair of ASA and CANEGROWERS. "We sent a professional, comprehensive application to Minister Joe Ludwig three months ago to facilitate assessment of the proposal for a statutory levy and the legislation needed before the next Federal election in 2013,"

     

    Australian Sugar Milling Council Chair, Quinton Hildebrand, reinforced the message that collaborative work by CANEGROWERS and the Milling Council to establish Sugar Research Australia (SRA) over 2011 and 2012 clearly demonstrates this industry is moving to a new level of investment and co-operation in research and development.

     

    “Achieving Sugar Research Australia by 1 July 2013 will require a large, ongoing effort and is our number one priority", said Mr Hildebrand referring to an Australian Sugar Industry Alliance statement issued on 18 December to update all stakeholders on progress, especially BSES, SRDC and SRL staff.

     

    Sugar Research Australia development activity is underway, in parallel with Australian Government considerations. Steps toward legislative processes will be needed from early 2013. ASA will continue to communicate progress through statements for growers, millers, staff and researchers.

     

    ASA's forward program in preparation for Sugar Research Australia includes identification of an initial Board of Directors for Sugar Research Australia Limited over February to April 2013. Advertisements will seek expressions of interest for 6-8 Director positions and for roles in the SRA Research Funding Panel as a committee of the Board. ASA will write to chairs and directors of BSES, SRDC and SRL inviting interest.

     

    "The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is committed to progressing all the work, arrangements and interactions needed to achieve a successful start of Sugar Research Australia Limited backed by the new statutory levy on the target date of 1 July 2013," Mr Cristaudo said yesterday. "We are working with Senator Ludwig and meeting regularly with his Department to assist timely considerations."

     

    "ASA recognises and appreciates the procedures and steps needed to bring together whole-of-government support for such an Industry-led initiative. Overall, ASA understands the target 1 July 2013 timeframe is achievable – and this timing is vitally important for the Australian Sugar Industry."

     

    In the next days, growers and millers should also receive letters explaining the arrangements for the BSES Service Fee in 2013 and for changes when Sugar Research Australia starts with a new sugar levy.

     

    As part of the RD&E reform program, for 2013, the grower BSES service fee will stay at 30 cents a tonne, and the SRDC levy at 7 cents a tonne. On the start of Sugar Research Australia with the new levy, growers will pay 35 cents a tonne in total (collected at the mill as occurs now) and the BSES service fees and SRDC levy will stop.

     

    For detail on the the updated ASA statement for industry stakeholders, the Sugar RD&E Reform package, and the ASA Application on Sugar Research Australia in six volumes including downloads of versions of Sugar Research Australia governance documents and 75 questions and answers see www.sugarpoll.com.au.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 18 OCT 2012: Sugar Advisory Services Development Program tops 300

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    18 OCTOBER 2012:

     

    Sugar Advisory Services Development Program tops 300.

     

    Over 300 interested people from Queensland and northern NSW have become involved in the Sugar Advisory Services Development Program (SASDP) over the past seven months. Many of these 300 individuals have participated in multiple activities, with over 535 attending or registering for the 34 short courses conducted by the SASDP so far, and the 10 sessions currently on offer.

     

    “The SASDP set out with ambitious goals and it has exceeded all its targets,” said Dominic Nolan, Australian Sugar Milling Council CEO. “It is a success story in helping changes to extension and is making a big contribution to upskilling many people with sugarcane production knowledge”.

     

    “This is exactly why the milling sector has supported the SASDP with special funding as a key part of the Sugar RD&E Reform package agreed by the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance in October 2011”.

     

    Places are available in an exciting new 1-day course called ‘Understanding the Sugar Industry Value Chain’ which will look at the interfaces of sugarcane growing and milling and how optimum decisions can be made. This course is being led by the Queensland University of Technology with presenters from the Australian Sugar Milling Council , CANEGROWERS and the Professional Extension and Communications (PEC) Unit. Register through www.sasdp.com.au for sessions in Ingham on 22 October, Mackay on 5 November and Bundaberg on 13 November.

     

    The SASDP and PEC Unit are also conducting additional sessions of the technical short courses including

     

    • Management of Nutrients on 24 October in Ayr, and 31 October in Childers;

    • Selection of Appropriate Sugarcane Varieties (based on QCANESelect) on 7 November in Mackay, and 14 November in the Burdekin.

     

    Registration is also open now for a Farm Trials and Statistics 1-day course in Ballina NSW on 4 December.

     

    “These SASDP courses are meeting real needs and demand for information and know-how about sugarcane and providing services to growers,” Steve Greenwood, CEO of CANEGROWERS said.

     

    “This program has been planned and run by the SASDP team with great energy and a lot of creativity and effort to bring together course providers from the PEC Unit, Southern Queensland University, QUT and skilled experts in group extension and running on-farm trials and statistical analysis.”

     

    “The whole Sugar Industry is benefitting from this dynamic short course program with participation by all types of people in contact with cane growers –agribusiness, advisers, productivity services, mills, farms, and government agencies. I’m impressed!”, Steve Greenwood said.

     

    The Sugar Advisory Services Development Program is a major part of the integrated Sugar RD&E Reform package, along with the Industry’s commitment to achieve the formation of a new industry owned company, Sugar Research Australia. After the resounding YES vote from growers and millers in the Sugar Poll 2012 in August, the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance made a full application on schedule to the Federal Minister, Senator Joe Ludwig about Sugar Research Australia and the associated new levy.

     

    “We have made a strong and positive application covering all the criteria and bases, and are waiting to hear soon from the Minister”, Dominic Nolan said.

     

    The SASDP is also contributing to forward projects bringing activities of the current three entities together to assist advisers, researchers, agencies and all working with the sugar industry.

     

    The SASDP is advertising now for expressions of interest from people or groups with the right skills to develop three important special projects over 2012-2013:

     

    Project 1. Sugarcane Production by Region – a set of localised technical courses for seven regions.

     

    Project 2. Developing a new Sugar Industry Field Adviser Manual for widespread use.

     

    Project 3. Constructing a Sugar Industry Research e-Library bringing together material held in different places in forms useful for advisers, researchers, district staff and a wide range of sugar industry participants.

     

    For information on these projects and the call for Expressions of Interest by 31 October see www.sasdp.com.au.

     

    For interviews or other information contact:

    Dominic Nolan, CEO, ASMC, 0419 287 734

    Steve Greenwood, CEO, CANEGROWERS, 0488 721 156

     

    More information on Sugar RD&E Reform, Sugar Poll 2012, and the ASA Sugar Research Application, see www.sugarpoll.com.au.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 20 SEP 2012: Sugar Research Australia - Application forwarded to Minister Joe Ludwig

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    20 SEPTEMBER 2012:

     

    Sugar Research Australia - Application forwarded to Minister Joe Ludwig

     

    Supported by the unambiguous Yes Vote in the Sugar Poll 2012, leaders of the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance (ASA) today forwarded a full application to Senator Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on establishing an Industry Owned Company 'Sugar Research Australia', with a new statutory levy, to consolidate and modernise the industry’s existing research structures.

     

    The Sugar Poll 2012 vote results reported by Australian Electoral Commission on 7 September were a resounding Yes from Growers and Millers to forming Sugar Research Australia (SRA). More than 77% of the industry’s cane farming entities and all sugar mills participated in the Sugar Poll conducted for the industry through August.

     

    Of these, 84.3% of the growers and 87.5% of the millers said Yes to formation of Sugar Research Australia backed by a new statutory levy to be shared equally between growers and millers.

     

    When formed, Sugar Research Australia Limited will be the Australian sugar industry’s flagship research development and extension company. This week, recognising that engaged researchers are the foundation to RD&E success the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance also convened a Researcher Roundtable in Brisbane attended by over 90 researchers and research stakeholders. Discussion at the Roundtable will contribute to development of SRA operational details.

     

    With the submission of the ASA application also comes the period of time in which formal objections can be submitted against the proposal.

     

    Any formal objections should be submitted to the Minister, Parliamentary Secretary or to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) as soon as possible and ideally within four weeks (19 October 2012) from today, the date of formal lodgement of the ASA Application with its supporting documentation. These documents are available on the Sugar Poll website www.sugarpoll.com.au.

     

    For those wishing to lodge an objection you can do so to any one of the three listed contacts below:

     

    The Minister, Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600 or email: joe.ludwig@maff.gov.au.

     

    The Hon. Sid Sidebottom MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 or email: sid.sidebottom.MP@aph.gov.au

    or

    Mr Matthew Koval, Agricultural Productivity Division, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, GPO Box 858, Canberra ACT 2601 or email sugarpoll@daff.gov.au.

     

    The DAFF Levy Principles and Guidelines state that the objection should:

     

    clearly outline the reasons why the ASA application is opposed;

     

    include an analysis of the pro-application argument; and

     

    include documentary evidence that actual and/or potential levy payers oppose the implementation of the changes.

     

    For further information on lodging a submission under the Levy Principles and Guidelines please visit the DAFF website: www.daff.gov.au/agriculture-food/levies/publications.

     

    These Principles also state that objections having little basis in fact or which are considered irrelevant, frivolous or vexatious will not be considered.

     

    For interviews or other information contact:

    Steve Greenwood, CEO, CANEGROWERS, 0488 721 156.

    Dominic Nolan, CEO, ASMC, 0419 287 734.

    Suzi Moore, Communications, 07 3864 6444 or 0427 641 239.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 22 AUG 2012: Sugar Poll 2012: Progress report on voting to form Sugar Research Australia

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    22 AUGUST 2012:

     

    Sugar Poll 2012: Progress report on voting to form Sugar Research Australia

     

    Sugar Poll voting opened on 6 August and the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance (ASA) is encouraging all sugarcane growing businesses and milling companies to have their say by posting their votes to the Australian Electoral Commission as soon as possible.

     

    Key Sugar Poll statistics include:

     

    Voting papers were mailed on 3 August by the Australian Electoral Commission to 4,445 sugarcane growing businesses (ABNs) in Queensland and NSW that delivered cane to mills in 2011, and to the 8 milling companies.

     

    19 were returned-to-sender and addresses have been corrected for 15 of these with new voting papers mailed by the AEC this week. Eight growers have requested replacements for misplaced papers.

     

    The AEC advises that 2,086 voting envelopes have been posted into the AEC ballot box as at 2 pm on Monday 20 August.

     

    The count of votes and tonnages will not start until the Sugar Poll closes. All voting envelopes received by the AEC by noon on 6 September 2012 will be counted.

     

    ASA is committed and working to reach all sugar industry participants with information about the Sugar Poll. All growers and mills are being asked to vote to establish a modern, focused, not-for-profit industry owned company, Sugar Research Australia.

     

    “A few growers have questions about their voting papers, and we are handling these individually as part of coordinating the comprehensive voting roll," said Jim Crane of the Australian Sugar Milling Council.

     

    “The roll is built on one voting paper per ABN. This means that some growers with more than one farm who might have been anticipating more than one voting paper have had their votes consolidated to align with the number of ABNs applying to their farm businesses."

     

    “I can be contacted on 07 3231 5001 for any question on voting arrangements," Jim Crane said.

     

    For detail on Sugar Poll arrangements and 75 Questions and Answers, plus a copy of the Sugar Poll Information paper see www.sugarpoll.com.au.

     

    For interviews on the Sugar RD&E Reform program:

    Steve Greenwood CEO CANEGROWERS 0488 721 156.

    Dominic Nolan CEO ASMC 0419 287 734.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 10 JUL 2012: Countdown to Sugar Poll 2012 underway: Growers and Millers preparing to vote to form Sugar Research Australia

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    10 JULY 2012:

     

    Countdown to Sugar Poll: 2012 underway:

    Growers and Millers preparing to vote to form Sugar Research Australia.

     

    This week, over 4,000 sugarcane growing businesses and mill companies will receive their first formal letter from the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance (ASA), CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council leading into the Sugar Poll vote to be run in August.

     

    “Some growers will also see this important letter through advertisements or electronically,” said Steve Greenwood, joint secretary of ASA and CANEGROWERS CEO. “ASA is working to reach all sugar industry participants with information about Sugar Poll and to encourage large numbers of growers to vote in August, and to vote Yes for the industry to establish a modern, focused, not-for-profit industry owned company, Sugar Research Australia.”

     

    “Growers, millers and everyone interested can also look up the Sugar Poll 2012 website launched last week,” said Dominic Nolan ASA joint secretary and CEO of ASMC. “There are 75 Questions and Answers posted so far about the poll, RD&E reform, and the envisaged new company Sugar Research Australia with a supporting levy paid equally by millers and growers.”

     

    Over the next weeks, groups in mill areas across Queensland and northern New South Wales will be lifting the level of communication and discussion about the Sugar Poll. This activity will build on the 14 ASA industry meetings in March and May attended by near 1,000 growers and other stakeholders and many other consultation sessions during 2011 and 2012.

     

    “It is great to see local CANEGROWERS, productivity organisations and others involved in communicating the importance of everyone voting in the poll and providing information to assist people in deciding to vote yes for these vital changes,” says Steve Greenwood.

     

    “Later in July, ASA will be mailing a Sugar Poll Information Paper to growing businesses and milling companies. Then in early August, all will receive voting papers from the Australian Electoral Commission. The AEC is conducting the poll and count independently,” Mr Nolan said.

     

    For details on Sugar Poll arrangements and questions and answers, including views on the changes and possible outcomes of the vote, see www.sugarpoll.com.au

     

    For interviews or other information contact:

    Steve Greenwood, CEO, CANEGROWERS, 0488 721 156.

    Dominic Nolan, CEO, ASMC, 0419 287 734.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 06 JUL 2012: Local management of rural water: yes please

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    06 JULY 2012:

     

    Local management of rural water: yes please.

     

    A large step in the right direction, was the sugarcane industry’s overwhelming response on the back of the Queensland Government’s announcement that a working group was being set up to delve into the potential for local management of water.

     

    The announcement by the Minister for Energy and Water Supply, The Honourable Mark McArdle, was welcomed by peak group CANEGROWERS, who had made the issue a clear priority area during the Queensland government election earlier this year. CANEGROWERS called on the Queensland Government to commit to removing government-owned, Sunwater, as the manager of irrigation schemes and implement local management of schemes by June 2015.

     

    Around 70% of Australia’s sugarcane relies on costly irrigation, which accounts for 25% of grower costs. Recent announcements on water pricing will substantially hoist the cost of water to Queensland farmers. “Sugar is an export crop and our farmers have no ability to pass these costs on in the competitive international market,” says CANEGROWERS CEO, Steve Greenwood.

     

    “This has escalated the need for every efficiency to be achieved in delivering the life-blood to farms.”

     

    CANEGROWERS says Sunwater’s management of irrigation schemes is highly inefficient; specifying that some 60% of total costs are overheads in some schemes.

     

    News that the Newman Government would consider local irrigator distribution and management systems is great news for the sugarcane industry which believes local-knowledge and management would deliver large cost-savings and more sustainable water to farms around Queensland.

     

    The specialist working group being set up to look into the issue will include representatives from SunWater as well as local and peak irrigation bodies. While terms of reference have yet to be set, it will identify efficient and sustainable local irrigator (distribution) management models.

     

    “CANEGROWERS will actively participate in the working group, heartened by recognition by government that affordability of water is a key issue and that some of the most pragmatic solutions are developed by people with good local knowledge,” says Greenwood.

     

    “This is about achieving quality, capacity and long-term sustainability of local water supply, which is critical to economic activity, including the sugarcane industry, which is gearing up for a period of expansion but threatened by escalating costs closing in on all fronts," he said.

     

    Media comment:

    Steve Greenwood CANEGROWERS CEO, 0488 721 156.

     

    More information:

    Suzi Moore CANEGROWERS Communications, 0427 641 239

    or 07 3864 6444.

     

    SunWater is a Government-Owned Corporation, managing a regional network of bulk water supply infrastructure throughout Queensland that supports about 5,000 customers across the local government, power generation, mining, industrial and agricultural sectors.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 14 JUN 2012: New sugar industry adviser and grower up-skilling events in July

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    14 JUN 2012:

     

    New sugar industry adviser and grower up-skilling events in July

     

    The Sugar Advisory Services Development Program (SASDP) is expanding its short course offering as part of a series of SASDP Events in six sugar industry locations this July from Cairns to New South Wales.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 29 MAY 2012: Sugar Poll 2012: Growers and Millers to vote in August on forming Sugar Research Australia

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    28 MAY 2012:

     

    Sugar Poll 2012: Growers and Millers to vote in August on forming Sugar Research Australia.

     

    In early August 2012, all sugarcane growers in Queensland and New South Wales plus the eight milling companies will receive papers from the Australian Electoral Commission so they can vote in the Sugar Poll 2012.

     

    Sugarcane growers and millers are being asked by the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance (ASA), with the backing of the Australian Sugar Milling Council and CANEGROWERS, to actively Vote and to Vote Yes, for the formation of a new sugar Industry Owned Company, a dedicated single research company called Sugar Research Australia.

     

    "A single, focused sugar industry research organisation will modernise Australia’s sugar industry by funding more research to keep the industry competitive and sustainable", ASA Chair Alf Cristaudo said this week.

     

    The creation of one industry research and research management organisation to enhance performance and contain costs, is a key part of the industry research reform package endorsed by the Australian Sugar Milling Council and CANEGROWERS through the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance in October 2011. Activities of a streamlined BSES, SRDC and aspects of the sugar milling research agency SRL would be brought together in Sugar Research Australia.

     

    A Yes vote will also see the introduction of a single statutory levy in place of the current BSES fees and SRDC levy to support research and development and professional extension by Sugar Research Australia and a range of other skilled research providers.

     

    Mr Cristaudo said these vital changes would address current performance and costs, and

    would open opportunities for the industry. “The highest risk for the industry is if we don’t take action to reform sugar research. Our vision is for a new, strong sugar industry-owned research organisation, Sugar Research Australia, working to steer a research program of over $18m a year for industry benefit,” he said.

     

    There are already nine research and development Industry Owned Companies in Australia, operating strongly for their industries including meat, dairy and forestry. Establishing Sugar Research Australia as an IOC, backed by a compulsory statutory levy to be paid equally by growers and millers (35 cents/tonne each in place of the current fees for BSES and levy for SRDC), needs to be carried out in partnership with the Australian Government.

     

    In February, ASA submitted a detailed initial proposal to form Sugar Research Australia, to Senator Joe Ludwig, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in Canberra. The submission sets out structures for Sugar Research Australia, including an expert SRA Research Funding Panel to manage a much larger pool of competitive research funds.

     

    ASA representatives have met with Departmental officers in February, April and May this year and further meetings are scheduled particularly in relation to governance requirements around managing industry levies and matching government payments.

     

    The Minister will not make a decision until a full submission later in 2012. Senator Ludwig has indicated he is keen to see efficient and effective arrangements in place to deliver RD&E for the sugar industry. He has told ASA representatives that he is willing to receive a submission supported by the industry proposing alternate arrangements. Additional information needed will include results of the Sugar Poll in August and envisaged company governance arrangements.

     

    ASA is providing the Minister with information on consultation, communication and voting arrangements as they are developed. A voting plan will set out how cane growing businesses and milling companies will be able to vote, and how the Australian Electoral Commission will independently run the Sugar Poll 2012 during August.

     

    All growers and mills will receive a first letter explaining the poll and postal voting early in July, plus an information pack later in July, in advance of the AEC voting papers. The postal votes will need to be in the mail back to AEC by Friday 31 August 2012.

     

    Australian Sugar Milling Council Chair Quinton Hildebrand has emphasised that under this new model, funding will be assured for activities essential for industry viability.

     

    "With this restructuring, and formation of Sugar Research Australia, sugar milling companies will agree to contribute equally with growers through a continuing statutory levy, for ongoing sugar industry research, variety development, biosecurity and professional extension,” he said.

     

    For interviews or other information contact

    Alf Cristaudo, Chair ASA or

    Steve Greenwood CEO CANEGROWERS via:

     

    Suzi Moore 0427 641 239.

     

    Quinton Hildebrand, Chair ASMC or

    Dominic Nolan CEO ASMC via:

     

    Jim Crane 0400 991 931.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 30 APR 2012: More sugar industry adviser courses for May & June

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    30 APRIL 2012:

     

    More sugar industry adviser courses for May & June.

     

    The Sugar Advisory Services Development Program (SASDP) is widening its offering of short courses in sugar production, with more scheduled in May and June across sugarcane regions including NSW.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 28 APR 2012: Sugar Advisory Services Development Program

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    28 APRIL 2012:

     

    Sugar Advisory Services Development Program

     

    1. Technical short courses for May and June

    2. More on Machinery Inspection

    3. Irrigation-Water-Soil potential 2 day courses.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 28 MAR 2012: Sugar industry adviser courses starting in April

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    28 MARCH 2012:

     

    Sugar industry adviser courses starting in April.

     

    The Sugar Advisory Services Development Program (SASDP) has short courses across important aspects of sugar production ready to go in April and May.

     

    Registrations are underway for the first one day courses on Variety Selection, Management of Nutrients, Managing Canegrubs, on Weeds, as well as workshops on Machinery Inspection. Initial courses will be held in Mackay, Townsville, the Burdekin and at Meringa, with more sessions planned. Courses will run with 6 to 20 people and all these sessions are attracting interest.

     

    “It is great to see these new training sessions now on offer to a wide range of current and potential future advisers to sugarcane growers – an exciting development under the Sugar RD&E Reform program to widen access to research based knowledge and know-how,” said Steve Greenwood, CEO of CANEGROWERS.

     

    “This industry-led SASDP program has been explained at the series of Industry Meetings now underway across all cane growing regions, and growers and local groups are keen to see an expansion of advisers they can contact,” Mr Greenwood said.

     

    The Sugar Advisory Services Development Program is being backed by up to $2m from the milling sector. “All sugar milling companies recognise the importance of research and extension. R&D results need to get out to a much larger number of growers, and some growers also need advice to help in their operations,” said Dominic Nolan, CEO of the Australian Sugar Milling Council.

     

    The SASDP is aiming to expand and upskill all types of advice providers. Target groups include cane productivity service group staff and directors, mill staff, existing or new local advisory and consultant groups and individuals, farm contractors, harvesters, agribusiness providers, mill service providers and technical firms, grower groups, educators and researchers, and interested growers.

     

    The first four Sugarcane Technical Production one-day courses are being developed and tailored for current and potential advisory providers by BSES. You can register now for:

     

    - Selection of Appropriate Sugarcane Varieties – 18 April in Mackay, 2 May Burdekin.

    - Management of Nutrients – 24 April Townsville, 16 May Mackay.

    - Management of Canegrubs – 22 May Meringa.

    - Management of Weeds – 9 May Burdekin, 11 May Mackay.

     

    You can register for these courses and machinery inspection workshops by completing an on-line survey form – go to SASDP website www.sasdp.com.au. Questions should be directed to Jim Crane at ASMC on 07 32315000, or Bernard Milford CANEGROWERS on 07 3864 6444. The survey also asks about courses on advising and extension planned for mid 2012.

     

    For interviews or other information contact

    Steve Greenwood, CEO, CANEGROWERS, 0488 721 156

    Dominic Nolan, CEO, ASMC, 0419 287 734

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 17 FEB 2012: Sugarcane growers urged to attend important research reform meetings

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    17 FEBRUARY 2012:

     

    Sugarcane growers urged to attend important research reform meetings.

     

    Sugarcane growers and everyone interested in a strong future for the sugar industry are being urged to attend meetings in their local district in March to learn more about reforms underway for research in the Australian sugar industry including local approaches to extension and services.

     

    More than a thousand growers and others are expected to attend the 15 industry meetings across all regions. "We would to hope to see even double that number", Steve Greenwood CANEGROWERS CEO said today. "CANEGROWERS is rallying its members to ensure they don’t miss out on these important information meetings about changes vitally important to the future of the industry."

     

    The first 'New Era for Sugar RD&E' industry meeting will be in Mareeba in far North Queensland on 12 March, then the Mossman area, and meetings in Gordonvale, Innisfail, Tully and Ingham on the following days. Then Burdekin, Proserpine, Mackay and Sarina in the week beginning 19 March, and Bundaberg, Childers, Maryborough, Woongoolba and Ballina over 26 to 29 March.

     

    Australian sugar industry leaders will address each meeting, and local speakers will also talk about the changes. Sugarcane growers, millers, productivity services and all other industry stakeholders are being invited to attend. These meetings mark the next phase in the ongoing communication and consultation program. All growers will also receive an invitation through the post in the next weeks.

     

    "This Sugar RD&E reform package is about strengthening sugar R&D performance, managing costs and growers and millers agreeing to fund RD&E equally", Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC) CEO Dominic Nolan said. "The reforms will equip our industry with the right level of R&D investment, rising to $21 million in 2013-14. These 15 local industry meetings will focus on the why and how of the changes, and what industry participants will see."

     

    Information will be available on the new Professional Extension and Communications approach and on the Sugar Advisory Services Development Program, as well as outlining the planned new single industry research organisation, Sugar Research Australia that will allow grower and miller funds to be used more effectively, maximise government contributions and deliver research performance better aligned to sugar industry priorities.

     

    "Extension and local advisory services are vital to making R&D useful. The new system will provide opportunities for different approaches to extension delivery – with each area moving towards a locally specific model suited to the unique needs of their area," Steve Greenwood said. "There will be plenty of time in each meeting for questions, and for discussions after the speaker sessions."

     

    The Sugar RD&E Reform package was endorsed by CANEGROWERS and ASMC through the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance in October 2011.

    These organisations have wide membership and together represent over 90% of Australian sugar industry stakeholders.

     

    The full schedule for industry meetings and contacts for further information follow.

     

    Mareeba

     

    Monday 12 March, 1.30pm

    Mareeba Leagues Club

     

    Mossman/Port Douglas

    Tuesday 13 March, 8.30am

    Port Douglas Community Hall

     

    Gordonvale

    Tuesday 13 March, 4.00pm

    Gordonvale RSL

     

    Innisfail

    Wednesday 14 March, 1.30pm

    Sugar Industry Heritage Centre

     

    Tully

    Thursday 15 March, 1.30pm

    Tully Mill Hall

     

    Ingham

    Friday 16 March, 9.00am

    Hinchinbrook Shire Hall

     

    Burdekin

    Monday 19 March, 1.00pm

    Burdekin Theatre

     

    Proserpine - CANCELLED (RAIN)

    Tuesday 20 March, 1.30pm

    Proserpine Entertainment Centre

     

    Mackay - CANCELLED (RAIN)

    Wednesday 21 March, 1.30pm

    Mackay Convention Centre

     

    Sarina - CANCELLED (RAIN)

    Thursday 22 March, 9.00am

    Sarina Bowls Club

     

    Bundaberg

    Monday 26 March, 1.30pm

    Bundaberg TAFE theatre

     

    Childers

    Tuesday 27 March, 8.30am

    Canegrowers Isis

     

    Maryborough

    Tuesday 27 March, 2.00pm

    Canegrowers Maryborough

     

    Rocky Point

    Wednesday 28 March, 2.00pm

    Woongoolba Hall

     

    Ballina

    Thursday 29 March, 9.00am

    Ballina RSL

     

    Proserpine - TENTATIVE

    Wednesday 9 May, 8.30am - TENTATIVE RESCHEDULED DATE

     

    Mackay - TENTATIVE

    Wednesday 9 May, 2.00pm - TENTATIVE RESCHEDULED DATE

     

    For interviews or other information contact

    Steve Greenwood, CEO, CANEGROWERS, 0488 721 156

    Dominic Nolan, CEO, ASMC, 0419 287 734

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 21 DEC 2011: Research reforms start delivering for sugar industry

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    21 DECEMBER 2011:

     

    Research reforms start delivering for sugar industry.

     

    This week, sugarcane growers will receive a letter from BSES Limited on the changed service fee arrangements for 2012. The service fee is collected by BSES from growers and millers to fund a range of activities including plant breeding and variety development.

     

    For sugarcane growers the 2012 BSES Service Fee of 30 cents per tonne is 10 cents per tonne less than the special fee paid in 2011 while research, development and extension was being reviewed with the aim of growers and millers agreeing and equally funding reformed structures.

     

    Importantly, growers and mills will now make equal contributions totalling 60 cents per tonne (30c/t each) for operations of BSES Limited and the miller research company SRL. Growers and millers will continue to pay the 14 cents/tonne (7c/t each) for the Sugar Research and Development Corporation (SRDC). This will bring the total 2012 contribution to 37cents per tonne each.

     

    The BSES Service Fee arrangements are one part of the broader reform package, endorsed by CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council through the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance in October 2011. Under these changes, in 2012, BSES Limited will receive 55c/t funding directly from industry plus income through SRDC and from other sources.

     

    BSES is progressing the industry supported restructuring with cost reductions. It should be out of its current loss situation and have a balanced budget by 2013 in advance of the target timing for formation of the single industry owned company, Sugar Research Australia.

     

    Media Comment:

    Steve Greenwood, CANEGROWERS CEO, 0488 721 156.

    Dominic Nolan ASMC CEO, 0419 287 734.

     

    More information:

    Suzi Moore CANEGROWERS Communications, 0427 641 239.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 15 DEC 2011: ASA leaders outline vision for sugar research reform

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    15 DECEMBER 2011:

     

    ASA leaders outline vision for sugar research reform.

     

    A single, streamlined sugar research organisation will modernise Australia’s sugar industry by funding more research to keep the industry competitive and sustainable, Australian Sugar Alliance Chair Alf Cristaudo said this week after key industry meetings.

     

    The creation of a single research organisation is one part of an industry research reform package, endorsed by the Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC) and CANEGROWERS through the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance in October.

     

    The reforms will revitalise, strengthen and advance sugar industry R&D by creating a dedicated single research body, called Sugar Research Australia.  They will also allow existing funds to be used more effectively, maximise government contributions and deliver better research performance aligned to industry priorities.

     

    Mr Cristaudo said these vital changes would address current performance and costs, and would open opportunities for the industry.

     

    “The highest risk for the industry is if we don’t take action to reform sugar research.  Our vision is for a new, strong sugar industry-owned research organisation from 2013 working to steer a research program of over $18m a year for industry benefit,” he said.

     

    ASMC Chair Quinton Hildebrand said that under the new model, funding was assured for activities essential for industry viability, including plant breeding, biosecurity, and variety selections and development.

     

    ”With this restructuring, the sugar milling companies have agreed to contribute equally with growers for ongoing sugar industry research, variety development, biosecurity and professional extension,” he said.

     

    Mr Cristaudo said the new Professional Extension and Communications Unit in BSES, and later SRA, will be a fundamental platform for extension, ensuring sugar research reaches the field.

     

    “I see this unit greatly strengthening the industry and ensuring research information reaches a much larger number of growers through group events, a network of local advisers and open and free access to electronic, written and media tools,” he said.

     

    A streamlined BSES will provide most of the staff and activities of Sugar Research Australia. Other activities will come from SRDC and the sugar milling research agency SRL.

     

    Sugar millers are also keen for effective research and extension, contributing $2 million to a Sugar Advisory Services Development Program during 2012 to up-skill and expand a network of field advisory service providers across sugar industry regions.

     

    “By implementing these reforms we will streamline who does what, hand the direction of the R&D agenda back to the industry and ensure growers and millers contribute in balance, and most importantly get full access to research knowledge and advice across the industry,” Mr Cristaudo said.

     

    For more information and interviews:

    Alf Cristaudo: contact Suzi Moore CANEGROWERS, 0427 641 239.

    Quinton Hildebrand: contact Jim Crane, ASMC, 0400 991 931.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 12 DEC 2011: Reforms to modernise sugar industry R&D underway: progress report

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    12 DECEMBER 2011:

     

    Reforms to modernise sugar industry R&D underway: progress report.

     

    Reforms to the Australian sugar industry’s research and development model have begun, paving the way for a single, sustainable and streamlined industry research organisation with a larger funding pool.

     

    Endorsed by CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC) through the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance, the reforms will strengthen and advance sugar industry R&D by creating a dedicated single research body, to be called Sugar Research Australia.

     

    The formation of Sugar Research Australia will allow grower and miller funds to be used more effectively, maximise government contributions and deliver research performance better aligned to industry priorities.

     

    Without this reform, it is estimated growers and millers would need to pay 99 cents/tonne of cane in 2013 (compared to 55 cents/tonne paid in 2009-10 for the three current industry research bodies) to keep research, development and extension in the same form as in 2010.

     

    The reform package comes after a year of consultation with industry leaders, and responds to concerns that the current system is not financially sustainable and needs strengthening and focus to deliver the research the industry needs to remain internationally competitive.

     

    Latest reform progress points include:

     

    Initial field meetings with grower associations and millers have been completed in Ballina, Ingham, Innisfail, Bundaberg, Mackay, Proserpine, Ayr and Mareeba. A second series of field meetings is being planned for March 2012, aiming to reach many of the over 4,000 cane producers with information and discussion about all the changes.

     

    The Sugar Advisory Service Development Program has begun, aiming to bolster the existing regional and local network of agricultural advisors who can provide on-farm services and advice to growers. A series of meetings with productivity services groups and local service providers are being conducted to build the Sugar Advisory Services network and discuss training and upskilling needs that could be addressed.

     

    BSES board directors are supporting and implementing the reforms. The sugar industry has provided a strong framework and support for restructuring BSES operations to reduce costs as a key part of the reform package. Plant breeding and variety development will continue at the current size of 100,000 stage 1 seedlings at three field stations.

     

    With reform underway, CANEGROWERS and ASMC are supporting a total 60 cents/tonne funding for BSES and Sugar Research Limited (SRL) in 2012-13 while restructuring progresses, with growers and millers contributing equally, 30 cents/tonne each.

     

    ASMC CEO Dominic Nolan said the reform package would result in growers and millers contributing a realistic amount more for research and development, and receiving more research outcomes for their hard-earned dollar to underpin a strong future.

     

    “The current research structure is unsustainable and if let remain as is, it would demand that growers and millers pay 99c/tonne for all R&D by mid-2013. At the same time, there have been concerns about the alignment, coordination and performance of the three industry-backed research organisations,” he said.

     

    “That’s why the Australian sugarcane industry has developed a comprehensive plan to revitalise, strengthen and streamline its research, development and extension, and to ensure it can continue to fund activities essential to industry viability.”

     

    CANEGROWERS CEO Steve Greenwood said the reforms would re-energise the industry’s research sector to undertake key priorities, including a continuing strong focus on plant breeding and variety development.

     

    “With these reforms, we will equip our industry with the right level of research and development investment, increasing from $10 million in 2005/06 to $21 million in 2013/14, without exorbitant levy increases.

     

    “By implementing these reforms we will streamline who does what, hand the direction of the R&D agenda back to the industry and ensure growers and millers contribute fairly, and most importantly get access to research knowledge and advice equitably across the industry.

     

    “2012 is shaping up as a watershed year for the sugar industry and we look forward to meeting more with growers and millers during the coming months to talk about how these reforms will work for them.”

     

    Media Comment:

    Steve Greenwood CANEGROWERS CEO, 0488 721 156.

    Dominic Nolan ASMC CEO, 0419 287 734.

     

    For more information:

    Suzi Moore CANEGROWERS Communications, 0427 641 239.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 24 NOV 2011: EU to breach WTO sugar commitments - Again!

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    24 NOVEMBER 2011:

     

    EU to breach WTO sugar commitments - Again!

     

    There is strong market speculation that the European Commission (EC) is set to breach its WTO commitments on sugar export subsidies for the second time in two years.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 28 OCT 2011: A new era for sugar industry R&D announced today

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    28 OCTOBER 2011:

     

    A new era for sugar industry R&D announced today.

     

    The Australian sugarcane industry today has revealed a comprehensive plan to strengthen and streamline the research, development and extension (RD&E) function. The changes more than double the industry’s contribution to funding R&D from $10 million in 2005/06 to $21 million in 2013/14, creating certainty in the delivery and funding of core RD&E activities.

     

    The integrated package of reforms released today aligns with a modern, positive industry, said the Australia Sugar Milling Council (ASMC) and peak sugarcane growers group CANEGROWERS in a joint statement today. They say the package will provide a larger competitive research program, and be a better use of industry and government funds.

     

    The modern structure will ensure a professional research group is delivering for industry and government investors, research providers and wider stakeholders.

     

    Today’s announcement has come on the back of a yearlong consultation process and comprehensive review of sugar industry RD&E structures. Research is important, and growers and millers want to ensure every hard-earned dollar is achieving the best possible result to underpin a strong future for the industry.

    ASMC and CANEGROWERS say revitalised R&D structures will keep the Australian industry on the front foot in the competitive export market onto which over 80% of Australia’s sugar is sold.

     

    Implementation is being carefully planned and coordinated. It will be rolled out over the coming two years in a staged process. Essentially the headlines are:

     

    Restructure: form an Industry Owned Company. The industry will work with the Australian Government to create a research body (Sugar Research Australia [SRA]), encompassing the, sometimes overlapping, functions currently carried out by BSES Limited, Sugar Research & Development Corporation (SRDC) and Sugar Research Limited (SRL). This company would help the industry secure increased funding from the federal government, and would be underpinned by a statutory levy shared equally between growers and millers, who would be empowered to elect directors and vote on the level of the levy.

     

    Efficiency: strengthen and streamline BSES over 2011-2012. Services such as plant delivery will be fortified by concentrating expertise into three strong research and delivery centres; Maringa, Burdekin and Mackay. The Bundaberg and Herbert stations will be closed and sold and their functions integrated into the three major delivery centres, keeping the important variety trials currently being run in each area, including Bundaberg and Herbert. Overall, the target is to improve service delivery and achieve efficiency gains of 20%.

     

    Information access: create a complete set of up-to-date, grower-friendly resources. This will include freely available knowledge packages, research information and a series of events. From mid-2012, the one-on-one advising function undertaken by BSES officers will be picked up by a host of local consultants and businesses.

     

    A robust skilling program will be rolled out to develop and strengthen the skill-set of the new network of local sugar extension providers. The Sugar Advisory Services Development Program will kick off in late 2011 and run throughout 2012, providing a transition to new service arrangements.

     

    “Overall this restructuring and streamlining will strengthen R&D activities now and in the future," says Dominic Nolan of ASMC.

     

    “We need a savvy, forward thinking approach to research, development and extension," underscores Steve Greenwood of CANEGROWERS. “You simply can’t expect to lead the way without it.”

     

    And according to both groups that is what will be delivered. “In the long term this suite of changes is set to deliver improved profitability for growers, millers and the Australian industry alike," Greenwood and Nolan confirmed in the joint statement today.

     

    Some of the changes & efficiencies

     

    -Create core RD&E funding certainty.

    -Over two years create ‘Sugar Research Australia’ by bringing together BSES, SRDC, and SRL.

    -Reorganise cane variety development.

    -Bolster service delivery through concentrating expertise, including expert breeding and technical field staff, at three major sites at Meringa, Burdekin and Mackay.

    -Create whole-farm extension material, cane farming tools and events.

    -Modernising CSIRO relationship by moving to project-by-project arrangements.

    -Secure savings by closing the Bundaberg and Herbert River stations and streamlining plant breeding, varieties, biosecurity, cropping systems, technology support and extension.

    -Establish a professional extension communications unit to support a range of extension providers.

     

    Media Comment:

    Steve Greenwood, CANEGROWERS CEO, 0488 721 156.

    Dominic Nolan ASMC CEO, 0419 287 734.

     

    More information:

    Suzi Moore CANEGROWERS Communications, 0427 641 239.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

     

  • 18 APR 2011: Sugar industry R&D to be revitalised following broad-scale review

    Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    18 APRIL 2011:

     

    Sugar industry R&D to be revitalised following broad-scale review.

     

    Australian sugar industry research and development is set for some revitalising changes following an industry-wide review. The review was sparked by the sheer pace of technological advances occurring world-wide as well as the need for a sustainable funding model, according to the review’s sponsors CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC).

     

    If there is one thing the Australian sugarcane industry firmly agrees on, it is the importance of research, development and extension (RD&E) investment to secure the future of our industry, says Steve Greenwood, CANEGROWERS CEO. “Brazil is becoming a stronger competitor as it reduces costs and increases yields. Our RD&E capabilities need to keep pace with technological advances in Brazil and other sugar producing nations,” he says.

     

    CANEGROWERS and ASMC engaged independent advisers, Port Jackson Partners Limited, who developed a final report based on extensive stakeholder consultation and a comprehensive review of the existing arrangements. The sugarcane industry is now moving quickly with the formation of a top-level group to work through the next stages of this important effort including the appointment of a project leader.

     

    At the heart of the review has been the close consultation and involvement of BSES Limited, the Sugar Research and Development Corporation (SRDC), Sugar Research Limited (SRL) and other research and extension providers to the industry. These will remain central collaborators with the project leader to develop a robust plan and timeline for the required work for final sign-off by industry organisations.

     

    “What we are targeting is a model which is centred on industry-agreed and driven priorities which are closely aligned with, and responsive to, evolving needs,” says ASMC CEO Dominic Nolan. “It will ensure clear direction for industry and external research bodies, which is sustainably funded and enjoys strong commitment from our growers and millers as well as governments,” he says. There is a lot of work to be done, we are really at the start of this process, and successful change will need broad industry support.

     

    Central to the revitalised approach will be the creation of what has been coined ‘New BSES’. ‘New BSES’ will concentrate its work in centrally funded activities, including: plant breeding, molecular biology, biosecurity, farming and milling systems and extension. Importantly strategic initiatives such as the BSES/ DuPont Joint Venture which is developing new transgenic sugarcane varieties will continue. A successful outcome in this project will help keep Australia ahead of the game in the use of bio-technology in the sugarcane production system.

     

    The importance of locally-geared research came to the fore in the review. “The new model will provide local areas and regions with the flexibility to determine the delivery of locally based advisory and other services that are scoped, managed and funded according to their local priorities, needs and circumstances,” says Nolan. Agreed, centrally funded activities will be jointly funded by growers and millers. Provision of additional services such as one-on-one extension that are not centrally funded will be negotiated locally.

     

    The Australian Sugar industry Alliance (ASA) will provide a single point of accountability for ‘New BSES’ to industry and ensure its adequate funding. The Board of ‘New BSES’ will maintain governance responsibility for the organisation.

     

    Over the next 12 months, the industry will have delivered a clearly articulated set of research priorities under one research plan. A three year funding commitment for ‘New BSES’ will have been agreed upon by industry – together with a monitoring and evaluation process, to ensure its ongoing sustainability. Industry will develop a clear proposal to the Australian Government regarding the merger of SRDC into the single research organisation and new governance arrangements for BSES will be introduced.

     

    “In the long term this suite of changes is set to deliver improved profitability for growers, millers and the Australian industry alike,” says Greenwood.

     

    Media Comment:

    Steve Greenwood CANEGROWERS CEO, 0488 721 156.

    Dominic Nolan ASMC CEO, 0419 287 734.

     

    More information:

    Suzi Moore CANEGROWERS Communications, 0427 641 239.

     

    END

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

  • 18 APR 2011: Sugar industry R&D to be revitalised following broad-scale review2
  • 18 APR 2011: Sugar industry R&D to be revitalised following broad-scale review3
  • 18 APR 2011: Sugar industry R&D to be revitalised following broad-scale review4
  • 20 SEPT 2017: Tariff news from Jakarta gives Aussie sugar a boost

    Tariff news from Jakarta gives Aussie sugar a boost

     

    Australia is poised to benefit from an imminent tariff reduction on our sugar exports to Indonesia.

     

    “We look forward to Indonesia being restored as a major export destination for our raw sugar,” said Paul Schembri, Chairman of the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance and chair of the joint industry group’s Trade Committee.

     

    “A 3% tariff cut is a good outcome for Australian farmers and millers and for Indonesian refiners who want access to our high-quality product at a competitive price.”

     

    Australia was put at a disadvantage in 2015 when Indonesia granted Thailand a 5% tariff on sugar while Australia’s stayed at an effective 8%.

     

    “We went from supplying around a third of Indonesia’s sugar imports to almost nothing,” Mr Schembri said.

     

    “The final steps are now being taken to level the playing field and reduce the tariff on Australian sugar to 5%.”

     

    Trade Minister Steven Ciobo is in Jakarta today, securing the imminent implementation of an agreement reached between Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Indonesian President Joko Widodo in February.

     

    “We thank the Prime Minister, Trade Minister and their officials and representatives for their hard work on our industry’s behalf,” Mr Schembri said.

     

    “This provides the opportunity to increase our exports to Indonesia to more than 1.25 million tonnes from their present level of 350,000 tonnes - that’s worth AU$500 million.

     

    “Removing a barrier to trade with our nearest neighbour is a great outcome for the Australian sugar industry and our Indonesian customers.”

     

    Media contact:

    Paul Schembri, Chairman ASA Trade Committee, 0417 604 196

    Neroli Roocke, CANEGROWERS Communications, 0418 871 881

     

     

  • 27 FEB 2017: Sugar industry welcomes Indonesian tariff move

    Sugar industry welcomes Indonesian tariff move

     

    The Australian sugar industry has welcomed a tariff agreement between Australia and Indonesia which will put our sugar exports on a par with our regional competitors.

     

    “Indonesia is an important and growing market for our export sugar,” said Paul Schembri, the Chairman of the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance Trade Committee. “Reducing the tariff on Australian sugar to 5% will make our product more attractive to Indonesian food manufacturers and refiners.

     

    “We have been at a disadvantage since Thai exporters were granted a 5% tariff in 2015 while our tariff stayed at effectively 8% (Rp 550,000 per tonne).

     

    “Australia provided roughly one-third of all Indonesian sugar imports during 2014 and 2015 but that tariff preference meant Indonesia moved to source almost all of its raw sugar imports from Thailand.

     

    “We lost about $500 million in trade opportunities at current prices.

    “With the 5% tariff agreement, we can again compete on our strengths – quality, reliability and year-round availability.”

     

    The sugar tariff announcement came after a face to face meeting between Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

     

    “We have worked since 2015 to have that tariff disparity between the Australian product and other sugar exporting nations resolved,” Mr Schembri said.

     

    “As an export-dependent industry, with 80% of our annual production heading to overseas customers, we need to be able to compete fairly in all markets.

     

    “We thank the Australian government for pursuing this on our industry’s behalf and carrying it through to a successful outcome.

     

    “While the implementation issues are yet to be finalised, growers and millers across Australia’s sugar growing regions can find comfort in the fact that this important market will be restored.”

     

    Media contact:

    Paul Schembri, Chairman ASA Trade Committee, 0417 604 196

    Neroli Roocke, CANEGROWERS Communications, 0418 871 881

     

     

  • 6 October 2015: TPP a story of contrasts

    AUSTRALIAN SUGAR INDUSTRY ALLIANCE

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    6 October 2015

     

    Australian sugar: TPP A story of contrasts

     

    The Australian sugar industry today acknowledged the finalisation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement as a bittersweet end to five years of complex and difficult negotiations.  There are some clear wins, however the major disappointment is with the USA maintaining their protectionist stance on market access for Australian sugar.

     

    Dominic Nolan, CEO of the Australian Sugar Milling Council on behalf of the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance (ASA) said “Our first point of call is to congratulate the Australian negotiators, from Minister Robb at the helm, to the Chief Negotiator and the entire team for the incredible work that has been sustained over the extremely challenging drawn out process.

     

    “It was always going to be difficult balancing competing interests from industry and governments across 12 nations, and the Australian effort has been exemplary from the outset, including strong communication with industry, and work above and beyond the call of duty,” Mr Nolan said.

     

    “We should focus on the gains made in this agreement for Australian sugar, and not the success of the powerful US sugar lobby in maintaining their protectionist stance against bringing sugar into their deficit market.

     

    “The wins include an improvement on access to Japan above and beyond the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement which will result in commercially meaningful reduction of costs of $25 per tonne for Australian sugar going into that market.  Japan has shown leadership and commitment in delivering this TPP outcome”.

     

    Paul Schembri, CANEGROWERS Chairman, says Australia’s major interest in the TPP negotiations from the outset was rectifying the USA-Australia Free Trade Agreement which excluded sugar, by achieving commercially meaningful access for Australian sugar to that market.  “The USA needs to import sugar, and what better opportunity than to import from the most liberalised trader in the world, with unsubsidised, unprotected Australian sugar,” he says.

     

    “Unfortunately, despite all of the logical, economic-based arguments put forward by the Australian industry and Government negotiators, the US sugar lobby was successful in blocking all but a small amount of additional market access for Australian sugar.

     

    “The increase in access for Australian sugar is welcome but it must be recognised that it comes from a very low start, with an annual increase of 65,000 tonnes, for a total of 152,000 tonnes.  In today’s market, that extra access translates to approximately $13 million per year benefit for the Australian sugar industry.  On top of this, the removal of the in-quota tariff is worth a further $3 million per year, plus there is a potential annual additional allocation based on US needs.

    “The opportunity to greatly enhance the business relationship between our industries has been lost for now, mainly due to US domestic politics, despite our clear capacity to achieve increased access without harming the US sugar program.”

     

    The ASA concluded by emphasising their gratitude to the Australian negotiating team at the end of a gruelling five year project.

     

    “Overall, the deal is net positive for Australian sugar, not in the ball park of what we would have liked from the USA market, but is certainly as a whole better than where we started 5 years ago,” they concluded.

     

     

    Media contacts:

    • More information: Paul Schembri  |  CANEGROWERS Chairman |  0417 604 196

    • Media comment: Dominic Nolan |  Australian Sugar Milling Council CEO  |  0419287734

     

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

    The Australian sugar industry:

    • 3rd largest exporter in the world

    • 4000 farmers and 24 Mills

    • Employment  15,600 people

    Current Marketing environment:

    • Australian producers are receiving world prices of around US12.cents a pound of sugar, a price that is below the cost of production.

    • In the US, the Government funded support program ensures that the 4000 cane growers there receive a guaranteed level of around US 22.5 cents a pound regardless of the world price.

     

    ENDS

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80% of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

     

  • 3 August 2015: Bridging the gap on sugar a priority for the TPP

    AUSTRALIAN SUGAR INDUSTRY ALLIANCE

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    3 August 2015

     

    Bridging the gap on sugar a priority for the TPP

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance (ASA) is confident that an agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership can still be reached, even after talks stalled over the weekend. One of the sticking points is a lack of increased access to the United States (U.S.) market for Australian sugar. This is despite major companies and refiners in the U.S putting their support behind increased access by non-subsidised countries like Australia, in the face of their large and increasing sugar deficit.

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance today commended federal trade Minister Andrew Robb and the Australian negotiating team for the intensive work in the latest TPP negotiations and says the sugar industry will be mustering additional support from around the world to back Robb and his team as negotiations track forward in coming weeks.

     

    Spokesperson for the Alliance, Dominic Nolan, says it has been a marathon effort over the past five years to get negotiations to the point that they are at.

     

    The Australian sugar industry says there is now a further opportunity to bring pressure to bear on the US protectionist behaviour which has seen the country unwilling to support increased access for sugar, despite its current three million tonne supply deficit which is growing year by year.

     

    “Sugar remains a key sticking point, reflecting the protectionist attitude of the supply managed U.S. sugar industry,” says Mr Nolan.

    “The impasse in market access negotiations can be solved if the U.S. takes a leadership role, especially in allowing improved access to its heavily supply managed sugar market.

     

    “There is scope to conclude a comprehensive TPP agreement that includes access for Australian sugar to the US market, importantly without harming the US sugar program.

     

    We are intent on securing additional meaningful access for Australian sugar.  It’s hard to see why, apart from politics, access to the US market for Australian sugar is a stumbling block when it is such an obvious step forward in the modernisation of world trade agreements.

     

    “It is imperative the protectionist U.S. sugar industry does not hold up conclusion of the TPP in coming weeks.”

     

    A comprehensive TPP deal will cover trade representing 40% of global GDP over the 12 countries involved, including Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

     

    Warren Males (Head-Economics, CANEGROWERS), Dominic Nolan (CEO, Australian Sugar Miling Council) and Greg Beashel (CEO, Queensland Sugar Limited) represented the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance at the Hawaiian round of TPP talks over the past ten days.

     

     

    Media contact: Dominic Nolan  |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance spokesperson  |  0419 287 734

     

    ENDS

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80 per cent of Australian growers and 95% of Australian raw sugar production.

     

     

  • 30 July 2015: Stay Strong on Sugar in Trade: TPP

    AUSTRALIAN SUGAR INDUSTRY ALLIANCE

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    30 July 2015

     

    Stay Strong on Sugar in Trade: TPP

     

    As negotiations for the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership, covering 40 percent of global GDP enters a critical stage, the Australian sugar industry and a cohort of government heavy weights have moved with conviction in their message to the US, as word comes that the US is holding its ground in the bitter struggle to extend market access for sugar into the country.

     

    As far as the Australian sugar industry is concerned, there is no reason why Australia should not have access on equal footing with the Mexican industry, or at least 50% of the access currently enjoyed by the Mexicans.

     

    According to the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance, that kind of access would be worth $100 million to Australian sugar which is “Just a drop in the ocean compared with what the United States seeks for itself in the deal,” says Paul Schembri, Chairman of the alliance’s trade committee.

     

    “It’s win win – the US have nothing to lose and nothing to fear in increasing Australia’s quota, in fact US refiners want Australian raw sugar to meet their processing needs as the country’s already 3.3 million tonne deficit is facing projected growth to more than 4.5 Mt over the next decade.

     

    “Opening the door, even just that little bit wider, to Australian sugar will be supporting the kind of trade deal that the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement was initiated to achieve.

     

    Supporting the most efficient and advanced countries to compete on their own merit, rather than against highly subsidised inefficient industries, promotes innovation in our agricultural sectors worldwide.

     

    “Aussie sugar is sending the strongest possible message that now is the time for the US to step up to the plate and put their tonnages where their mouth is, after all the rhetoric they’ve put into their commitment to free trade and their willingness to roll back US protection for ’the elimination of foreign support programs’.

     

    “Australian sugar is there.  Right now.  With no import restrictions, tariff or quota, and no domestic market support or support for its exports, the Australian sugar industry meets the American Sugar Alliance’s aspirational ’Zero-for-Zero’ target.

     

    The Australian Sugar industry remains resolute that in this day and age it is simply not acceptable to leave sugar out of a free trade agreement.

     

    “They must be comprehensive and tackle the politically sensitive issues.  We want to cut through the politics and get a smart trade deal which will benefit all parties.”

     

    The importance of this deal has certainly been understood on home soil in Australia with news today of a revolt by National MPs over the watershed pacific wide free-trade pact which could see up to five Queensland MPs cross the floor if the deal fails to deliver United States access for sugarcane producers.

     

     

    Media contact: Paul Schembri  |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance  |  0417 604 196

     

    ENDS

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80 per cent of Australian growers and 95 per cent of Australian raw sugar production.

     

     

  • 24 July 2015: Sugar is key to Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement success

    AUSTRALIAN SUGAR INDUSTRY ALLIANCE

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    24 July 2015

     

    Sugar is key to Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement success

     

    Sugar will be the word on everyone’s lips at what looks set to be the final round of big trade talks in Hawaii this week.  The Australian sugar industry says there is an unprecedented magnitude of opportunity for Australian sugar in the Trans Pacific Partnership talks, but it is important not to underestimate the size of the task at hand.

     

    They say Australia will need all its resolve to stay strong and focussed on getting the much talked about improved access for Australian sugar over the line.

     

    With the United States facing immediate and ongoing shortfalls of raw sugar, there is now mounting support from sugar refiners and sugar users across America to allow greater access to TPP countries to supply the US market.

     

    The US is expected to need to import 4.5 million tonnes of sugar annually in the coming decade, and there is growing recognition of far-reaching benefits to the US economy from loosening the current excessive restrictions on sugar imports.

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance says that it is important to note that TPP access for Australian sugar will not harm the US sugar program.

     

    The recent and growing support for greater access for sugar from TPP countries has been spurred along by news that Mexico has access for some 1.5 million tonnes of sugar in the coming year despite a recent finding that it is heavily subsidised and is being dumped in the US.

     

    “There is no reason unsubsidised Australian sugar should be treated any less favourably – we don’t even have a tenth of Mexico’s access now despite the fact they are so heavily subsidised,” says Paul Schembri for the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance.

     

    “The US has a large sugar import need (currently more than 3 million tonnes), and the United States Department of Agriculture projects this will grow to more than 4. 5 Mt over the next decade.

     

    “There is plenty of scope for Australian access.  To top off the argument, US refiners want Australian raw sugar to meet their processing needs.

     

    “The US and Australia are strategic partners and both are longstanding advocates for free trade.  We want to cut through the politics and get a smart trade deal which will benefit all parties.”

     

    He points to the US sugar program which currently operates as a heavily supply managed agricultural program, the style of which the US itself strongly opposes in other countries.

     

    “The TPP, being a key trade agreement involving 12 nations worldwide, is a great place to set a bench-mark for a modern trade agreement,” says Mr Schembri.

     

    Delivering market access for sugar paves the way for broad agricultural market access across the 12 nations, removing unnecessary restrictions and hurdles put in place many years ago.

     

    “In this day and age it is simply not acceptable to leave sugar out of a free trade agreement – they must be comprehensive and tackle the politically sensitive issues.

     

    We see the TPP as just the right place to jump in and ensure the issue is solved for once and for all for Australia’s sugar industry.

     

    “Australian farmers are the most battle hardened sugar market players in the world.  When the last vestiges of support were removed twenty-five years ago, 100% of our production became effectively tied to the world price.

     

    “The US sugar industry says it supports free trade.  It’s ‘Zero-for-Zero’ policy position encompasses a willingness to roll back US protection for ’the elimination of foreign support programs’.

     

    With no import restrictions, tariff or quota, and no domestic market support or support for its exports, the Australian sugar industry meets the American Sugar Alliance’s aspirational ’Zero-for-Zero’ target.

     

     

    Media contact: Paul Schembri  |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance  |  0417 604 196

     

     

    ENDS

     

    The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80 per cent of Australian growers and 95 per cent of Australian raw sugar production.

     

     

  • 22 May 2015: Case for sugar reaches fever pitch as TPP nears long awaited end

    AUSTRALIAN SUGAR INDUSTRY ALLIANCE

    MEDIA RELEASE

     

    22 May 2015

     

    Case for sugar reaches fever pitch as TPP nears long awaited end

     

    The long awaited conclusion to all important world trade talks may be just around the corner according to the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance from Guam this week.

     

    According to the two high profile Australian sugar industry representatives at the critical trade talk round in Guam, word is that the US congress is close to authorising US President Obama to conclude trade deals.  Warren Males and Dominic Nolan say that after years of negotiations between the 12 nations working towards a Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement commenced, the end is finally in sight.

     

    TPP will be a front of mind issue for many at this weekend's APEC Trade Minister's meeting in the Philippines. None more so than the Australian sugar industry which is determined to ensure Australian sugar is not again needlessly sacrificed.

     

    “Minister Robb has the sugar industry's full support in his efforts to secure the full inclusion of sugar in the TPP,” agree Warren Males and Dominic Nolan from Guam.

     

    “Concluding the TPP as a modern 21st Century trade agreement is critically important for the Australian sugar industry.

     

    “An agreement that includes strong improvements in market access for sugar will enable the industry to reach its full potential in the years and decades ahead.

     

    “The TPP negotiations give Australia a golden opportunity to get in and fix unfair trade rules - rules which are disadvantaging Australia’s agricultural industries. Exclusions only serve to distort the world market, impacting the ability of export customers to access the most competitive sugar available on the market.”

     

     

    Media contacts:

    • Warren Males  |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance  |  0417 002 325

    • Dominic Nolan  |  Australian Sugar Industry Alliance  |  0419287734

     

     

    ENDS

     

    Note: The Australian Sugar Industry Alliance is the peak, whole of supply chain body with founding members CANEGROWERS and the Australian Sugar Milling Council representing in excess of 80 per cent of Australian growers and 95 per cent of Australian raw sugar production.