Wilmar’s David Burgess.
Wilmar’s David Burgess.

Wilmar puts its case to Senate industry inquiry

FURTHER marketing regulation would be a step backwards for the sugar industry.

That's the key claim made by Singaporean-owned Wilmar Sugar in their 150-page submission to a Senate committee inquiry into the contentious sugar marketing issue.

However, Mackay Canegrowers chairman and Wilmar grower Kevin Borg disagrees.

Mr Borg stressed that growers only wanted government regulation imposed on their 'economic interest' sugar.

"We are not asking for full regulations on the industry," he said.

Protection of growers' 'economic interest' sugar would give them equal rights at the negotiating table, Mr Borg said.

However, Wilmar Sugar marketing general manager David Burgess said the new marketing agreement was a natural progression of the industry after deregulation reforms in 2006.

"Wilmar's future plans for sugar marketing are entirely consistent with the principles of deregulation, which the industry supported," Mr Burgess said.

"There are no grounds for additional regulatory intervention, particularly given that there is a strong mutual dependency between growers and millers, and growers have the ability to independently manage their sugar price exposure."

To date 13 submissions have been made to the Senate inquiry, instigated after Wilmar announced plans to withdraw from key marketer Queensland Sugar Limited.

Mackay Sugar made its submission to the inquiry on October 13.

In it, the company wrote: "We understand a key concern of growers in the industry is around transparency of returns. QSL has historically been able to provide a high level of transparency with a complete pass through model."

Visit http://www.aph.gov.au and search "sugar submissions" to read all the submissions made on the issue.


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