QUEENSLAND SUGAR Limited (QSL) has retained its status as Australia’s largest marketer of raw sugar following the implementation of new Marketing Choice arrangements for Queensland cane growers.
QSL Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Greg Beashel, said that more than 1,000 Wilmar growers had allocated nearly one million tonnes to the industry-owned not-for-profit company for the current season.
Mr Beashel said the forecast tonnage in the 2017 season from Wilmar growers, and that already contracted from the Bundaberg Sugar, Isis Central Mill, Mackay Sugar, MSF Sugar and Tully Sugar milling districts, brought QSL’s total tonnage to around 1.9 million tonnes for 2017.
“We’ve been very heartened by the strong support we’ve received from Wilmar growers following the long-awaited implementation of Marketing Choice around six weeks ago,” he said.
“They fought long and hard to be able to choose their marketer, and so we are very keen to repay the faith that they have put in us.”
Mr Beashel said growers who had chosen QSL would not only benefit from an experienced, Queensland-based team working hard on their behalf, but also the risk mitigation and marketing flexibility that comes from QSL having a contracted supply in every major raw sugar export region in Queensland.
“In a state where we are often at the mercy of Mother Nature, there is incredible strength in producers throughout Queensland banding together and pooling their sugar in order to manage production risk, secure shipping flexibility and maximise their pricing opportunities on the world market,” he said.
“Queensland growers have long been the envy of their international counterparts for just this reason and, through QSL, will continue to enjoy the many benefits of our unique model where all net value is returned to the growers and millers we serve, rather than a private owner or company shareholders.”
Mr Beashel said the 2017 season marked a new chapter for both the Queensland sugar industry and QSL.
“The advent of Marketing Choice has already seen us roll-out a number of changes to our business, including the introduction of a separate logistics division as well as a range of cost savings and streamlined operations to reflect our new tonnage base.
“However, our key driver remains the same — our commitment to promoting the long-term prosperity of the Queensland sugar industry.
“After three years of widespread industry upheaval and uncertainty, we’re keen to refocus all our efforts on this and doing what we do best — marketing sugar and supporting the industry we’re here to serve.”