Tony Bartolo
Tony Bartolo

Grower leader positive about sugar industry’s future

IT HAS been a stop-start beginning with rain initially delaying operations, but Rosella cane grower Tony Bartolo is pleased this season’s cane harvest is now under way.

A Racecourse Mill supplier and Sugar Terminals Limited director, Mr Bartolo is positive about the future of the sugar industry in the Mackay region.

He believes the Nordzucker investment in Mackay Sugar will address the issue of crushing capacity so that growers can crush their cane in a reasonable time.

A qualified accountant, Mr Bartolo decided to leave public practice to take up farming in 2013 and is a third generation grower on the home farm where he was born.

More stories:

How 2020 crushing will be affected by COVID-19

Mackay Sugar fined after shocking workplace incident

Mackay cane farmers prepare for crushing season

Sarina distillery’s vital role in coronavirus fight

Mr Bartolo is one of the first alumni of nine growers throughout the state who graduated last year from Sugar Research Australia’s Next Crop, a professional and personal development program aimed specifically at cane growers.

SRA’s five-year strategic plan identified developing future sugar industry leadership as a priority, particularly as the industry faces headwinds such as low sugar prices.

The program conducted by Pragmatic Thinking in Brisbane is designed to create a network of confident and committed future sugar industry leaders.

At the outset, the program took the growers to several locations designed to take them away from their farms and out of their comfort zones.

It looks closely at the psychology of leadership in a detailed way.

The participants were inspired in their leadership journeys by guest speakers Peter Baines, who established the Australian charity Hands Across the Water in 2005 after the Boxing Day tsunami, and three times Australian Paralympic gold medallist and two times Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Kurt Fearnley.

The participants were asked to form groups to undertake a project on an important issue they saw facing the sugar industry.

Mr Bartolo’s group decided to tackle the issue of the new Great Barrier Reef regulations.

As part of their research they talked to government departments and representative organisations and examined the various accredited Best Management Practice programs to achieve change.

Subscriber benefits:

How to make the most of your digital subscription

Daily puzzles and Sudoku another reason to stay subscribed

Weather watch: Experts warn residents to be ready for storms

Premium Content Weather watch: Experts warn residents to be ready for storms

Central Queensland residents should prepare for another day of unstable weather...

CQ community kindy recognised for innovative education

Premium Content CQ community kindy recognised for innovative education

Middlemount childcare centre one of five CQ centre’s recognised at annual...

NAMED: 60+ people facing Emerald Magistrates Court

Premium Content NAMED: 60+ people facing Emerald Magistrates Court

A number of people appear at Central Highlands courts on a range of different...