FSC assists in $897k sale

THE Lautoka Cane Producers Association has applauded the Fiji Sugar Corporation for facilitating the sale of $897,000 worth of sugar produced by its 5300 members to Fairtrade markets.

“We earned almost $900,000 thanks to the outstanding efforts of FSC CEO Graham Clark and his team,” said association president Parbindar Singh.

Mr Singh said the windfall was significant given the news that Fiji cane producer associations would not be receiving Fairtrade premiums beginning in 2016 because of a downturn in the demand for Fairtrade labelled sweeteners.

“We are grateful this did not eventuate because the FSC went out and began marketing our sugar to other Fairtrade buyers apart from Tate & Lyle Sugars.

“So the premium we received last year and whatever we are going to receive this year will mean that our community projects like drainage assistance, funeral fund and other schemes will continue.”

The Lautoka Cane Producers Association is one of three Fairtrade certified cane grower organisations in the country.

Under the Fairtrade initiative — a scheme designed to aid low-income earning farmers in developing countries, growers production costs were reduced through fertiliser subsidies and distribution of free weedicide over the past four years.

This was funded through the additional revenue of $US60 ($F127) per tonne paid for sugar cultivated under strict Fairtrade conditions which include the non-use of child labour and banned chemicals on farms.

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