The chief financial officer of Bundaberg Sugar's parent company Finasucre, Jérôme Lippens, met Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey today.
Mr Lippens is based in Belgium. The company operates in five continents, employing 2630 people on a permanent basis and about 942 seasonal workers at 11 production sites worldwide.
Finasucre's 2017-18 annual report shows the company crushed 1,657,000 tons of cane at Bundaberg in 2017 to produce 236,000 tons of raw sugar and 105,000 tons of refined sugar.
Mayor Dempsey said he was pleased that Finasucre remains committed to sugar and the Bundaberg Region while exploring new opportunities.
The company already produces macadamia nuts and its website says: “Finasucre is convinced of the future importance of sugar as a source of inexpensive and renewable energy, and is planning to develop this new aspect of the business”.
Mayor Dempsey said it was good to catch up with Mr Lippens and executives from Bundaberg Sugar.
“We're seeing changes with sugar generally around the world and certainly we want to ensure there is a great future for Bundaberg families in the region with Bundaberg Sugar,” he said.
“We're working with the company to look at ways of bringing innovation into the industry.
“We're always working to ensure the smooth transportation of sugar to the mills and how we can improve efficiencies at the port for exports.”
Mayor Dempsey said Finasucre was looking at options to diversify.
“They want their core business to be sugar, but they recognise there are other opportunities in the Bundaberg Region given their strong existing presence,” he said.
Independent analysis commissioned by the Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC) recently revealed a total direct and indirect economic contribution of more than $4 billion made by the sugar manufacturing sector in Queensland in 2017-18.
In the Bundaberg Region, the three raw sugar mills spent and generated a gross value add (GVA) of $276 million, representing 5 per cent of gross regional product.
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