26 Mar 2003

Fiji's Sugar Commission says restructuring should take place as planned

4:33 pm on 26 March 2003

The chairman of Fiji's Sugar Commission says the government should go ahead with its plans to restructure the industry.

Gerald Barrack says the industry must get on a commercial footing and there's little point to further studies, as suggested by the Asian Development bank and the Cane Growers Council, because so many have already been done.

The ADB and the Council are calling on the government to delay the restructuring until a review takes place on the impact of the reforms.

Mr Barrack says his concern is that when the reforms take place, the government must ensure there's no vacuum between existing agreements and new contracts.

"The repeal of the Sugar Industry Act would mean that the present legal document between the growers and the millers, the Master Award would disappear, now what I'm, saying is that we should have in place, either a cane supply contract, or an amended Master Award, whatever, so that there is continuity, otherwise there's going to be great confusion, if you take something out and don't replace it."

Gerald Barrack, the chairman of Fiji's Sugar Commission.