12 Feb 2003

Fiji Cane Growers Council calls for inquiry into bad season

4:16 pm on 12 February 2003

The Fiji Cane Growers Council is calling for a full inquiry into a dismal sugar crushing season which ended this week.

The Council's CEO, Jaganath Sami, says both the Lautoka mill and the Labasa mill performed well below expectations despite millions of dollars being spent to improve equipment in Lautoka.

He says the sugar recovery from the crushing wasn't good and the Lautoka mill kept having bottlenecks and coming to a complete halt.

"We believe that it's more related to management than problems associated with plant. There has been close to 10 million dollars invested last season and we were assured that the mill would perform. Unfortunately the Lautoka mill which is the largest mill and which has a record of crushing about 50-thousand tonnes a week did only about 30-thousand tonnes a week this season."

Mr Sami says he's not confident that next season will be any better if the management does not change.