19 March 2021.

Sugarcane farmers will show their solidarity when they meet to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the industry.

A sugarcane industry forum meets in Mackay on 25 March, and a panel of industry experts will join farmers to give influential members of the community an insight into farming in the region - taking a frank look at threats to the industry and sustainability for future generations.

AgForce Cane President Ricky Mio said he was looking forward to discussing key issues facing the industry today, including the government’s new expanded cropping regulations, which come into force from June 2021.

“The forum will provide an opportunity for cane farmers, industry experts and community leaders to identify challenges, threats and opportunities to increasing sugarcane production and profitability and the economic contribution in the region,” he said.

“It is paramount that the community is aware of the importance of our industry if we are to continue to have a voice in the political arena.”

The latest figures from the Australian Sugar Milling Council reveal that in 2016/17 the four raw sugar mills in the Mackay region contributed $1.305 million to the economy and created 7,259 jobs.

As well as reassuring AgForce members they have made the right decision to join, Mr Mio also hopes the forum will attract new members to the organisation.

“Despite sugarcane farmers only being part of AgForce since May 2020, there has already been considerable growth in our ranks,” he said.

“There is strength in numbers when you are up against those in the corridors of power, and I believe we are starting to make a difference for our members.

“We want to do our best for farmers and the wider community and this forum will help get the message across.

“At AgForce we listen to our members and fight hard to protect their rights and entitlements. We advocate strongly to the government for the introduction of well-researched and industry-focused policies, and continue to fight against the new water quality laws for Reef farmers that threaten to destroy our industry.”

Guest speakers at the event include Mackay Sugar Mill Manager Jannik Olejas, and Katrina Dent of Reef Catchments.

To register for the Sugarcane Industry Forum visit Seats are limited and registrations close at 11:30pm 24 March.


For media comments contact: AgForce Cane President Ricky Mio 0419 029 705.