DESPITE widespread devastation caused by two floods, the Fiji Sugar Corporation has deemed the 2012 season a successful one.
Executive chairman Abdul Khan said the overall upward swing of the industry was purely because of government's commitment and support, outstanding work by mill personnel and a cohesive effort by sugarcane growers, canecutters and lorry operators nationwide. "We've produced more than 115,000 tonnes of sugar and processed 1.1 million tonnes of sugarcane to date," Mr Khan said.
"The Labasa and Penang mills won't be that far away from closing, in fact we're just going through some issues with the Sugar Industry Tribunal and the Sugar Cane Growers Council to determine a date that suits everybody obviously and after that we will look at Lautoka and Rarawai," he said. "In actual sugar manufacture, we have exceeded targets that we were thinking of achieving — that's in terms of sugar extraction from the tonnage available and I strongly believe that it was because of a concerted and unified effort by all industry stakeholders that we were able to achieve our results despite climate and other issues.
"We have seen what we can achieve by working together — we have managed to exceed our expectation — we are working in an environment where everybody pulled together.
"There's no more of the blame game and that's how this all came about."
The FSC had forecast a total sugar production forecast of 2.1million tonnes for the 2012 season at the beginning of the season. This was revised down to 1.8million tonnes after the damage caused by the floods in January and March.