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Editorial: The Positive FSC Turnaround Is A Commendable Effort

Editorial: The Positive  FSC Turnaround  Is A Commendable Effort
Trucks queue up at the Fiji Sugar Corporation mill in Lautoka.
May 16
11:30 2018

Yesterday’s announcement by the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) that books will soon see red turn to black is nothing short of an amaz­ing comeback story.

Over the past few years and even this year many so-called cane field pundits were preaching the end of the sugar industry.

Their predictions seemed even more logical when the Penang Mill, ravaged by Tropical Cyclone Win­ston in February 2016, was pronounced “dead” by FSC as the cost of bringing it back to life would have far outweighed the cost of building a new mill.

And so the tantrums by the Opposition and sugar cane experts continued as they dwelt on their per­sonal outlook on the industry.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, as Minister for Sugar, looked at the bigger picture and saw the thousands of people who depended on the sugar in­dustry for their livelihood.

He knew that if Government did not step in then the ordinary people would suffer the most because of those preaching doom were better off than them.

While convincing the people of Rakiraki that re­building the mill was not viable, he offered the cane farmers free transportation of their harvested cane to the Rarawai Mill.

Businesses in Rakiraki did not lose out as the trucks carting the cane got their share, the farmers got their share and the cane cutters got their share as well.

Their shares filtered back into the businesses in Ra­kiraki and today, the town is still in its usual hustle and bustle.

With the introduction of chairman Vishnu Mohan, chief executive officer Graham Clark, COO Navin Chandra and the board in the new term from 2017, the future then did not look rosy.

Mr Bainimarama knew that if there was one person who could turn the industry around it would have to be Mr Mohan. And together with Mr Clark and Mr Chandra, new measures were implemented includ­ing the most daunting one – the cost.

Government threw its weight behind the industry­with finance and grants to salvage the industry and it worked.

The announcement was made by Mr Mohan and Mr Clark, but with a totally different look on their faces compared to last year. Their faces painted the future of FSC – bright and with a lot of smiles.

Everything is certainly looking up in the sugar in­dustry and with the announcement that the accounts will soon use black ink tells us that people who make such doomsday predictions only do it and hope it happens. Well done team FSC!

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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