IN RESPONSE to Queensland Sugar Limited’s most recent release, the Executive General Manager, North Queensland, for Wilmar International, John Pratt, has issued the following statement.
Agalert opinion is that Wilmar is dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s — with exceptional dexterity.
Dear Grower — You may have received a message from QSL in the past 24 hours expressing frustration and disappointment that Wilmar has not yet provided QSL with a draft of the formal GEI Sugar Sales Agreement (GEISSA) that will reflect the agreement in-principle reached earlier this month.
You will recall that on March 6 I wrote to inform you of the remaining key points on which we had reached agreement and that we estimated it would take 4-6 weeks to finalise what is a very complex and fundamentally important commercial agreement.
Given we are just two and a half weeks into our forecast schedule, I am surprised that anyone would be expressing frustration or alarm.
The draft GEISSA will go from Wilmar to QSL’s lawyers as soon as it is ready. It is a complex agreement that is already approximately 100 pages long. We need to be certain that the provisions in this agreement are deliverable and that they align with our cane supply agreements (CSAs) and their schedules.
This agreement has taken months to negotiate. Rushing the process now, as the final drafting is being done, only increases the risk of introducing problems that will result in subsequent delays to the final signing of the agreement.
We have told QSL that we expect to send them a draft GEISSA early next week. That will be the halfway point on our anticipated timeline. From there it will be up to QSL to review.
In relation to CSAs, we continue to work with grower collectives in all districts with encouraging progress in almost all our negotiations.
We also continue to sign growers to individual agreements and leave open the offer to all collectives and growers of our nomination transfer arrangement that allows immediate forward pricing with the right to vary the nomination and transfer market positions when QSL executes a GEISSA with Wilmar.