The Australian Government has established a new sugar marketing taskforce to look into competition and marketing issues facing the cane sector.
Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce yesterday unveiled the terms of reference of a government-initiated Sugar Marketing Code of Conduct Taskforce to consult with the sugar industry on a range of issues around marketing and export arrangement for cane growers.
The establishment of the sugar marketing taskforce, which will be chaired by the Member for Dawson, George Christensen, comes after the announcement by three major sugar mill owners that they will break away from the QSL pooling system from the 2017 season.
The Taskforce will be made up of Senators and Members from Queensland and New South Wales who have an interest in the sugar industry and will report to the Minister for Agriculture by May, 2015.
According to the media release by Mr Joyce, the Taskforce will have the responsibility to determine if a code of conduct for the sugar marketing process is needed; determine if such a code should be mandatory; consult with the sugar industry; and consider provisions in such a code of conduct to address issues including, but not limited to, the following:
- Negotiation process;
- Grower economic interest sugar;
- Ability to choose a marketing entity;
- Transparency of marketing activities;
- Protections from discrimination;
- Arbitration where agreement cannot be reached;
- State and Commonwealth Acts relating to the sugar industry and competition;
- Codes of conduct in other industries; and
- Any related matters.