CANE COMMENT: Manager of Proserpine Canegrowers Mike Porter.
CANE COMMENT: Manager of Proserpine Canegrowers Mike Porter. Peter Carruthers

CSA moving at a snail's pace: Porter

MIKE Porter of Proserpine Canegrowers is encouraged by the deal made between MSF Sugar and QSL last week.

MSF Sugar mills are the first in Queensland to be guaranteed choice in sugar marketing with two crucial agreements now signed, sealed and delivered.

A sugar sales agreement between MSF Sugar and QSL, the industry marketer and manager of the state's six bulk sugar terminals, has been ratified.

It is the final piece of a new structure for MSF Sugar and growers who reached the historic first new Cane Supply Agreements in May under the Sugar Industry Real Choice in Marketing Amendment Bill of 2015.

Mr Porter said though local growers won't benefit directly by the signing between MSF and QSL the deal did send a message to the Wilmar-owned mill in Proserpine.

"(The MSF deal) is very much the same sort of deal the growers here are looking for from Wilmar's point of view,” he said.

"The announcement last week was probably good news for the growers from the point of view that Wilmar has stated on a number of occasions they don't think the legislation is workable and they thought it was going to be very difficult to work a deal with QSL.

"The fact that MSF has reached a deal with QSL proves the legislation isn't that hard to work with.

"What we hear from the mill owner here (Wilmar) is it's going to be very difficult to get a deal with QSL... this announcement gives the grower some confidence.”

Mr Porter said a deal was moving "at a snail's pace” but it was moving in the right direction.

Currently there are no Cangrowers-endorsed cane supply agreements for 2017.

Shayne Rutherford of Wilmar Sugar told the ABC's Country Hour program last week when discussing an agreement between Burdekin District Canegrowers and Wilmar that he was fearful arbitration would replace commercial negotiation.

Mr Rutherford questioned whether Canegrowers were acting in the best interest of their members.

"We don't think that arbitration is a good idea and, yeah, we really do think that that is going to slow the process down significantly,” he said.