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Conference delegates on the industry tour will visit the Green Energy Power Plant at Arriga on the Atherton Tableland. MSF Sugar’s Tableland Mill Manager Kirk Lang demonstrates the 100 per cent renewable sugarcane fibre, bagasse, that will be used to power the $75 million plant. Photo: courtesy of MSF Sugar

International Sugar Conference on doorstep

An international sugar conference in Cairns in July will bring together about 200 government, semi-government and sugar industry participants from 87 countries who will converge for the 55th International Sugar Organization (ISO) Meetings and Conference.

The International Sugar Conference, from 16 to 19 July, will have an audience of Australian and international sugar industry representatives, government officials and decision makers, to interact with presenters and panellists from Australia, Brazil, Thailand, Singapore and the United Kingdom

Executive Director ABARES, Steve Hatfield-Dodds will open the conference sessions with a session looking at the megatrends for agriculture.

He said that achieving the best outcomes for agriculture, rural communities and the national economy would require some tough choices.

“Ensuring agriculture is attractive to workers and investors, harnessing innovation to boost performance, promoting on-farm resilience and risk management, persisting with water reforms and respecting and responding to evolving consumer expectations are all key factors.

“In the sugar industry, global production is expected to exceed consumption for the second year in a row, increasing stocks and placing downward pressure on prices.

“Australia sugar production is expected to average 4.8 million tonnes over the medium term. Australia’s processing efficiency, proximity to East-Asian markets, direct marketing to overseas refiners and free trade agreements will continue to maintain the competitiveness of the Australian sugar industry despite abundant global production capacity and low world prices,” Dr Hatfield-Dodds said.

On Tuesday 16 July the event begins with a full day tour covering two mill areas, one with a cane railway and the other with road delivery. Participants will visit the Sugar Research Station at Meringa which houses three photoperiod facilities used to enhance flowering of sugarcane to increase the genetic material available for breeding new varieties.

Included on the tour, led by Mr Jim Crane from Australian Sugar Milling Council and Mr Warren Males from CANEAGROWERS, are two sugar cane farms, Tableland Mill and the new green energy power plant on the Atherton Tableland which converts 100 per cent renewable bagasse into green energy.

Conference sessions on Wednesday 17 July are designed specifically to be interactive with speakers and panellists encouraging questions, shared expertise and opinions from the audience. With the diverse number of topics and a line-up of first class speakers, this day should not be missed.

Managing Director Green Pool Commodity Specialists, Tom McNeill, will lead a session discussing trade flows, shifting patterns and outlook. CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan and ASMC CEO David Pietsch will share the stage to consider key strategies in forging the future of the Australian sugar industry.

When examining the questions of social licence, food, health and nutrition, Jacob Robbins, Emeterra (Singapore) CEO, and with 20 years’ experience in executive roles with The Coca-Cola Company, is well placed to discuss sugar, sweeteners and value-added food ingredients. His co-presenter, Katherine Teh, Managing Director founded Futureye, the world’s leading social licence consultancy.

Capping off a full day will be an environmental and industry sustainability session that will consider the impact of the industry on waterways and the Great Barrier Reef as well as innovative technologies which may well enhance the future for sugar in Australia.

Australian and international industries including growers, millers and refiners to analysts, investment bankers, farm machinery, software providers and shipping companies will all get value from the event.

Thursday 18 July will see a half day ISO market evaluation, consumption and statistics session to discuss market reports, world sugar balances, the influence of ethanol and monitoring of specific sugar issues.

Further information on the program and a full list of speakers can be found on the website.

Additionally, registrations can be made through the same website