Partnership to develop sugarcane industry roadmap
Sugarcane industry peak bodies and the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) are partnering to develop the first whole-of-industry shared vision and roadmap to 2040.
The Sugarcane Industry Roadmap will adopt a best-for-industry view to identify significant opportunities to drive sustainability, growth and prosperity of the industry and regional communities into the future.
CRCNA Chief Executive Officer Anne Stünzner said the roadmap will identify the future forces likely to impact the industry, establish agreed priorities and provide insight into the skills, resources, innovation and infrastructure needed for future success.
“For more than 100 years, the sugarcane industry has been a major economic and social contributor to regional communities across Queensland and northern New South Wales and has demonstrated a thirst for innovation and new technology,” Ms Stünzner said.
She said industry organisations have recognised the need to complement and enhance the traditional raw sugar production model to improve productivity and diversify revenue sources.
“While the industry faces economic, environmental and social challenges, there is significant opportunity to expand to become a multi-product, ‘sugar plus’ industry with potential for alternate markets such as biofuels and bioplastics,” Ms Stünzner said.
The roadmap initiative has the joint backing of five sugarcane industry organisations – Sugar Research Australia, CANEGROWERS, the Australian Sugar Milling Council, AgForce and the Australian Cane Farmers Association – with funding also provided by the CRCNA and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Sugar Research Australia Chief Executive Officer Roslyn Baker said the project will involve extensive engagement across the sugarcane industry value chain to co-develop a plan for the future.
“The roadmap will address both the immediate enhancements and improvements that can be made for a stronger industry, as well as longer-term opportunities to enter new markets, to diversify into new crops and products, and alternative uses for core industry assets,” Ms Baker said.
She said the roadmap will support the industry to bring to life a vision relevant to all sugarcane regions while cultivating greater agility to embrace local opportunities.
“This initiative is about generational change and putting industry in the driver’s seat to build an exciting and prosperous future,” Ms Baker said.
Stakeholder engagement sessions are underway. The roadmap is due to be finalised in early 2022.
Sugar Research Australia – Cathy Weis | 0419 175 815
CRCNA – Carla Keith | 0499 330 051