Canegrower Brian Stevens expects a better season ahead, because
Canegrower Brian Stevens expects a better season ahead, because "it couldn't get much worse than last year”. Contributed

What's next for Wilmar growers

ILBILBIE cane grower Brian Stevens is pleased Wilmar and Queensland Sugar Limited have finally signed an on-supply agreement but the stalemate has left some scars.

"I think it is a bloody disgrace how Wilmar was going about the whole thing,” he said.

"They treated us like we came down in the last shower.”

The farmer of 55 years, who lives about 50km south of the Plane Creek Mill at Sarina, said he planned to market all of his general economic interest sugar through Queensland Sugar Limited.

"We were already pre-registered with them, waiting for the agreement, but we can't price our sugar until we have a cane supply agreement,” he said.

"That's not that far away, the on-supply agreement just has to be written in the cane supply agreement.”

Canegrowers chairman Mackay Kevin Borg said the CSAs needed to be in place before growers could start harvesting this year's crop and the season was set to start in just under four weeks.

"I have high praise for my fellow Plane Creek growers for the way they have conducted themselves over the past three years,” Mr Borg said.

"It would have been very easy with the high levels of angst and uncertainty to cave in to the pressure of this milling giant.”

Now Mr Stevens is optimistic Wilmar will crush his cane, it will be marketed through QSL and he expects a better season than 2016 because "it couldn't get much worse than last year”.

Despite the stress from the on-supply stalemate and bad seasons Mr Stevens said he still enjoyed being a cane grower.

"I must be mad but there is a lot of enjoyment working for yourself and building up your own business,” he said.



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