Cane supply agreements making ‘steady progress’
"STEADY progress" is being made in securing a Cane Supply Agreement for the 2017 season and beyond.
Canegrowers Proserpine manager Michael Porter said they had submitted "a host of changes" to Wilmar after declining the most recent proposal.
"I can say that Wilmar agreed to those changes and we are quite happy that Wilmar were amenable to making those amendments," he said. "Basically, our Cane Supply Agreement is now back to where we were and what we are supplying under at the moment.
"However, the new legislation provides for choice, but unfortunately there is no choice if a grower signs a Cane Supply Agreement."
This revolves around growers' ability to access Queensland Sugar Limited, which remains outside the current proposed agreement.
"At the moment Wilmar does not have an agreement with QSL," Mr Porter said.
"We're encouraging those parties to come up with a mutually agreeable agreement that will allow the grower to access QSL.
"But the nub of the problem at the moment is growers can't access a choice of markets as provided by the new legislation."
Mr Porter said things were still "very much up in the air" but progress was being made.
"We're making steady progress but the resolution of an agreement between Wilmar and QSL may be a matter of weeks away," he said.
"That is outside our control."
Currently, growers are unable to forward price into 2017 because of the ongoing debate.
"The growers are seeing prices out there for 2017...so they're coming under a fair bit of pressure for locking in prices for 2017 and beyond," he said.
"They can only do that with a Cane Supply Agreement."