Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has called on foreign sugar giant Wilmar to strike a fair deal with sugar cane growers in the Sarina district before Christmas.
The feisty MP made the call as executives from the controversial Singapore company visited Parliament House in Canberra today for meetings with Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.
Ms Landry said the drawn out dispute over sugar marketing rights between Wilmar and local cane farmers had gone on for far too long – causing local families great stress.
“I call on Willmar to ‘man up’ and bring an amicable solution to the sugar contract stand-off before Christmas to give local farmers and the general district a sense of relief and certainty ahead of the new year,” Ms Landry said.
Ms Landry said it was time for the international company to ‘play nice’.
“Now is the time for Wilmar to stop holding local cane farmers to ransom and end the sugar contract crisis. We need them to address the ‘terms sheet’ and commit to a fair on-supply agreement with local cane growers.”
The MP warned Wilmar that if it did not ‘play nice’ with the livelihoods of growers, then Federal MPs could be forced to push for a federal code of conduct for sugar marketing companies.
“There are a lot of Federal Queensland LNP MPs and Senators fed up with the stalemate and uncertainty Wilmar is responsible for, and if they won’t play ball – then a code of conduct would be a serious option MPs would consider pushing through in legislation,” Ms Landry said.
Ms Landry said she was also interested to see the outcome of a current investigation by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) into the ‘competitive’ behaviour of Wilmar in the local sugar sector.
“Willmar executives are on notice today – MPs, like me, are fed up with their games which are impacting on the lives of local families. They need to find a fair solution by Christmas.”