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Clark: Sugar Better Sold On International Market

Fiji Sugar Corporation’s chief executive officer, Graham Clark, believes they should move to compete in international markets where it will attract premiums available. Mr Clark said he had a good
08 Apr 2017 11:00
Clark: Sugar Better Sold On International Market
Fiji Sugar Corporation’s chief executive officer, Graham Clark

Fiji Sugar Corporation’s chief executive officer, Graham Clark, believes they should move to compete in international markets where it will attract premiums available.

Mr Clark said he had a good feeling for the outlook marketing for Fiji Sugar. But to do this he said there was a need to grow cane supply, increase sugar production and at the same time reshaping the marketing policy and strategy for Fiji, which included moving away from the dependence on the European Union.

“The more sugar we produce the better we will be and the better price we will get, and better returns our growers will get,” he said.

“So it’s an intuitive process all around and so at the end of the day our view is that what we need is a very strong co-ordinated sugar industry and we all drive for a common goal, which is a sustainable future for industry here.”

Mr Clark said he was also concerned and troubled with the misinformation on sugar transportation from Rakiraki to Ba.

“So in particular the 107 members of staffs that we have on site were given the opportunity to hear from me first-hand the rational and the background as to why the decision has been taken to close the Penang Mill,” he said.

“I dearly want as many people as possible to stay within the industry and we are going to try and encourage them, but other people may want to do things and we would like to work with them to achieve a successful outcome there as well.”

On the issue of cane delivery to the Rarawai Mill in Ba from Rakiraki, Mr Clark said he had a series of meetings with cane farmers and the lorry association to indicate the way forward.

He said there was a constructive atmosphere when dealing with that and later confirmed that cane from Rakiraki would all be crushed at the Rarawai Mill in the coming season.

“Security is going to be very important for us on the site here. It’s a very unsafe site inside the factory as we have lot of damage and several structures are not stable and therefore need to restrict access from that site to make sure nobody wanders to the site and we have an accident,” he said.

“We had a structural engineering team, a firm of consultants who came in to advise us what was needed for this facility to meet Fiji building standards and the work required was in excess of $15 million as much as $20 million to get back to barely comply with the building code.

“We followed up that with the engineering review and our own engineers came in and did some work on what would be needed to put the plant back into operation and that was another $25 to $30 million.

“We’re looking to upgrade our crushing facilities we are now getting better ideas of where we should be crushing the cane, we need to modernise our plant, we have talked about the possibility of new processing facilities as well and those will be located in the right place rather than on the outside on the cane supply or whatever. So those studies are ongoing now and we will hopefully firm those up towards the middle of the year.”

 

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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