• Payments remain as in the past
THIS AFTERNOON, QSL’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Greg Beashel, issued the following statement:
“After our objections to Wilmar’s proposal to deliver GEI sugar tonnage to QSL calculated on actual CCS rather than relative CCS — which would result in lower QSL payments — we have negotiated a resolution,” Greg Beashel has advised relieved sugarcane growers.
The resolution enables advance payments for Wilmar growers to proceed without change from previous years.
QSL and Wilmars’ legal teams have indicated they will work over the week-end to draw-up the appropriate changes.
Greg Beashel said that while QSL has been “very frustrated by the slow pace of negotiations,” he was cautiously optimistic that QSL would sign a supply contract with QSL next week.
That will allow growers supplying Wilmar mills to have the choice of Queensland Sugar Limited as their marketing agent.
STATEMENT from the Executive General Manager, North Queensland, for Wilmar Sugar, John Pratt, issued this afternoont:
I am pleased to advise that we have cleared the last obstacle to finalisation of a GEI Sugar Sales Agreement (GEISSA) with QSL, and we expect to execute the agreement next week.
With the assistance of former Appeals Court Judge, Richard Chesterman QC, we have settled arrangements that:
- Satisfy the commercial objectives of both parties; and
- Provide cane payments based on CCS Relative in the same manner as 2016 season CSAs.
Once the GEISSA is signed, QSL will be offered as a GEI Marketer to growers with a Wilmar CSA. We understand this addresses the key outstanding concern of grower organisations in finalising 2017-19 CSAs.
Our focus is now on revising existing CSAs to ensure consistency with the GEISSA, and finalising collective agreements that have been in negotiation.
This has been a challenging and frustrating chapter for all parties in our re-regulated industry. Legal and commercial relationships have been reshaped and, with that, our various responsibilities and risks have changed.
I want to acknowledge the valuable assistance provided by Mr Chesterman during mediation. His involvement was instrumental in facilitating the parties reaching an agreement.
The Queensland Minister for Agriculture, Mr Bill Byrne, made Mr Chesterman available at a crucial time in the negotiations in March. It was a timely contribution by the State Government that reinforced the commercial process and produced an outcome acceptable to both parties. I will keep you informed as we move forward.
• Over the week-end agalert.com.au will be delving into the decision.
Expect an analysis early into next week.