Growing respect for sugar industry

FOR over 20 years, the environmental performance of the Australian sugar industry has been keenly debated.

Environmental sustainability is a key plank of our future viability.

As cane farmers we have come to understand that environmentally sustainable farming practices will drive our economic sustainability and command greater social support from communities.

Certainly, as cane farmers, we have been demonised by extreme elements in the green movement. Whilst this has been frustrating, I do sense that the cane growing sector is finally starting to win the recognition it deserves for improved environmental performance.

On a regular basis, Queensland cane farmers are winning a multitude of state, national and international awards for best environmental practice.

To continue this momentum towards environmental sustainability, Canegrowers and the Queensland Government late last year jointly launched the BMP (Best Management Practice) program. This program is all about industry and government co-operatively working towards better environmental outcomes.

Recently, Canegrowers has appointed Malcolm Petrie as the BMP project director. Mr Petrie has considerable experience in this environmental field, and will no doubt get to meet as many growers as possible during the next 12 months.

The BMP is not a centrally run program but will be driven strongly by regional input. A BMP district working group covering the Mackay region is being formed ensuring Mackay growers are well represented in this process.

I am sure that, as the BMP is rolled out, cane growers will strongly participate in the important program.

IN OTHER news, planning is now well under way for what we are hoping will be a highly anticipated agricultural exhibition for our members in the Plane Creek, Mackay and Proserpine regions, our communities and other agricultural sectors.

AG.Trade.Life | Powering the Future gives us an opportunity to raise the profile and importance of the sugar industry and other agricultural sectors in these regions, our state and, indeed, our nation.

This event, being held over two days on April 11-12, was borne from opportunity and our organisation's commitment to providing an agricultural event for our members where businesses with machinery, innovations, equipment and other services and trades can showcase their wares.

We are calling on all cane growers, cattle producers, those in horticulture and the equestrian sectors, as well as our communities, to support this new event and the exhibitors who have shown their confidence in agriculture by signing on for this inaugural event.

Topics:  mackay canegrowers paul schembri sugar

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