Turning point for sugarcane
THE year 2014 will go down in sugar industry history as having the most proposals for significant industry issues and change than has been seen for many years, if not ever.
While some changes will bring efficiencies and benefits to the sugar industry and its growers, others we hope will be thought through very carefully as some consequences, such as with sugar marketing, will be broad reaching and significant.
Change can be intimidating and approached differently by different people. For this reason, I am conscious that in terms of our cane-growing businesses, we - all governing bodies, stakeholders and decision-makers - proceed cautiously to avoid stagnating growth and inhibiting investment and productivity due to uncertainty or fear.
Some of the most significant changes are in the areas of sugar marketing, electricity pricing, transport and pest and disease, including yellow canopy syndrome and red witchweed.
Tenacity and hope are the two things all primary producers can boast they have bucketloads of - managing the unmanageable and the unpredictable is part and parcel of working and living off the land.