FSC hits out at critics

Fiji Sugar Corporation's chief operating officer in Labasa Navin Chandra. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI /FILE

FIJI Sugar Corporation chief operating officer Navin Chandra has hit out at critics, saying people need to understand the balancing act the miller does on a daily basis to ensure it meets the needs of every farmer.

On recent comments made by growers about quota issues and queues at the Rarawai mill, he said the FSC had to ensure mechanically harvested cane needs were met without compromising on manually cut crop. “On a daily basis we divert 90 lorries to Lautoka mill,” he said.

“Currently, Rarawai mill is doing 260 trucks a day and 90 is being diverted to Lautoka. “So if you look in totality, if Rarawai mill was crushing only Rarawai and Penang mill area cane, they would be getting 350 trucks per day — that’s the quota distribution.

“So when people make a statement that they are getting less quota, they need to understand we are diverting trucks so that there are no queues.

“In total, so far we have diverted 21,500 tonnes of cane from Rarawai and that’s 1571 lorries to Lautoka (as of Wednesday) and 10,500 tonnes from Penang mill area, which is 744 lorries, to Lautoka.

“So while the rate might be slightly slower (crush rate at Rarawai), FSC has a right to say none of the Penang or Rarawai cane should come to Lautoka because Lautoka has its own cane to process but we are not doing that because we are trying to balance cane supply to all mills.”