Media Release

Smart planning, investment the foundation for sweet success

29 April 2014

Sugar Research Australia is today launching a five-year strategic plan that is set to strengthen the country's $2 billion a year sugar industry.

Minister Joyce today welcomed the plan, which focuses on more efficient plant breeding, minimising the economic impact of pests and disease, optimising farming systems and production techniques and developing economically viable alternative uses for sugarcane.

"The importance of agriculture industries planning for ongoing success can’t be overstated," Minister Joyce said.

"The work that Sugar Research Australia has done through this plan demonstrates a commonsense approach to improving on-farm production and sharing this information with farmers across the industry.

"The emphasis is on adopting and sharing: there’s no point developing cutting edge research if it can’t be accessed by the people who do the work.

"Australia's sugar industry has about 4000 cane farm businesses harvesting on-average around 30 million tonnes of cane and producing 4 to 4.5 million tonnes of raw sugar each year.

"Australia is the world's third largest raw sugar exporter, with up to 80 per cent of Australian sugar exported to major markets in Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Malaysia."

Sugar Research Australia is an industry-owned company funded by a statutory levy paid by grower and milling businesses that receives matching funds from the Australian Government.

"This is a great example of industry investing in its own future. The contribution of the Australian sugar industry to the national economy and the long-term viability of individual businesses depend on this kind of initiative," Minister Joyce said.

Sugar Research Australia invests in and manages a portfolio of research, development and extension projects that drive productivity, profitability and sustainability for the Australian sugarcane industry.

The plan was launched today at the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologist Conference by Mr Paul Wright AM, Chairman, Sugar Research Australia and can be found online at www.sugarresearch.com.au