Australian sugarcane industry to form working groups to drive bioeconomy boom

Date Posted

6 July, 2022

Posted by

Cathy Weis

Organisations representing the Australian sugarcane industry will form a series of working groups to implement their first whole-of-industry vision and roadmap.

The Sugar Plus vision released at the Developing Northern Australia Conference, positions the industry as Fuelling the Future of Food, Energy and Fabrication.

Australian Sugar Milling Council Chairman John Pratt said the roadmap demonstrates the industry has an exciting future, with the regional bioeconomy offering enormous potential.

“We see that if we can exploit opportunities to add value to raw sugar production, that the industry will be stronger and have a very bright future indeed,” Mr Pratt said.

“We can do a whole lot more with co-generation and bioethanol. Then there’s precision fermentation, bioplastics, and sustainable aviation fuels. They are all possibilities into the future given the right policy settings and working in close collaboration with industry.”

The roadmap sets out a series of actions in the near, medium, and longer term, to strengthen and build the industry while charting a path to a bigger, bolder future.

CANEGROWERS Chairman Owen Menkens said industry organisations are committed to ongoing collaboration to implement the roadmap and realise the Sugar Plus vision.

“By working together, we can increase profitability and keep the industry growing,” Mr Menkens said.

“We can be an industry that the state and nation are proud of, that communities want to support, and young people want to start their career with.”

Australian Cane Farmers Association Chairman Don Murday said the industry can be the backbone of Australian bioeconomy superhighway, reducing reliance on international manufacturing to improve economic resilience and national security.

“Our greatest asset is the fact that we have this incredible amount of feedstock biomass with the logistics to bring it all into central areas. We are in a strong position to take advantage of these new technologies and it’s good that the appetite is there within the industry to do that”.

AgForce Cane President Ricky Mio said the industry has a proud history of innovation that will continue as the industry pursues its vision.

“The world is changing. We need to be in front of the change, not behind. This opportunity comes around in our life so very few times and I’ll be as proud as punch when we achieve what we’ve set out to do.”

The roadmap was developed through a nine-month engagement process across the Australian sugar industry supply chain. It was jointly funded and supported by the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia, Sugar Research Australia, CANEGROWERS, the Australian Sugar Milling Council, AgForce, Australian Cane Farmers Association and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

 

See more on the roadmap on our Industry Roadmap – Sugar Plus webpage

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