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Wilmar and Canegrowers come to table

ON Tuesday afternoon in Brisbane, Wilmar and Canegrowers met for "unprejudiced discussions".

The discussions were tabled after the passing of the LNP and Katter Australia Party Real Choice Marketing Amendment Bill in December last year and are designed to bring a resolution to the deadlock arising from Wilmar's attempts to navigate the new law.

For more than four months Wilmar has grappled with the legislation, during which time growers have been without 2017 cane supply agreement and have been denied a chance to forward price their sugar.

Manager of Canegrowers Proserpine Mike Porter said there was no expectation to come away from the talks with a cane supply or forward pricing agreement.

"Wilmar have been very clear on that," he said.

"There is still a lot of work to be done in respect to negotiating some of the agreement that sits behind the cane supply agreement and the forward pricing agreement.

"It is more a matter of what options are available to the industry and trying to get growers and millers together to talk about those options."

Executive General Manager of Wilmar in north Queensland, John Pratt, said in a statement issued last week to growers, there was no advantage to the company in delaying agreements any longer than necessary.

"Our meeting with grower groups on the 19th will be a good start," he said. "We will see where we go from there.

"We are working towards June 30 for the distribution of new agreements."

Mr Porter said this date was a "challenging time frame" to have cane supply and pricing agreements by.

Wilmar has declared the Real Choice Marketing Amendment Bill "poorly drafted" and "flawed".


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