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18 May, 2020

MSF Sugar dragging their feet

Queensland Senator Susan McDonald has accused MSF of engaging in unfair practices. “Every signal they’re sending is that they do not want to supply molasses to the domestic market,” she said.”

By Phil Brandel

Late last month MSF sugar backed down from its original decision not to sell Molasses to local farmers, as MSF had decided to to sell their molasses overseas.

That announcement was followed by outrage when MSF announced that they would sell to local farmers but the price they would be asking would be $100 per tonne more than last year’s price.

They also announced they would require a $100 per tonne deposit, all orders would have to be picked up before December 11 and all orders needed to be placed by May 31.

Queensland Senator Susan McDonald accused MSF of engaging in unfair practices saying.

“Every signal they’re sending is that they do not want to supply molasses to the domestic market,” she said.”

Last week Hill MP Shane Knuth announced that he had been negotiating with MSF to retract some of the conditions they had imposed, saying he’d had some early success "I was successful in working with MSF to get rid of deposit payment and onsite storage terms, however, the price per tonne remains a sticking point.”

MSF sent a letter to Mr Knuth outlining some of the compromises they had made:

  • MSF Sugar’s regular customers who place an order to be supplied with quantities that are consistent with or less than previous years’ quantities will not be charged a deposit.  If the amount ordered is more than previous years, MSF Sugar reserves the right to ask for a deposit (which is intended to manage the risk associated with orders being placed but not honoured).
  • MSF Sugar reserves the right to require a deposit from anyone who is not a regular customer.
  • Orders have to be placed by 31 May 2020.
  • There will be no requirement for customers to collect all molasses prior to 11 December 2020.  Customers can collect it throughout the year (as per previous arrangements).
  • The price is $250 per ton, ex-mill.
Some local farmers claim that MSF are dragging their feet as May 31 is the cut off time for orders and after that price will be a moot point.

Mr Knuth believes that that may be the case “Discussions have been pro-active and held in good faith until now, however time is running out for an agreement to be made for molasses supply to local clients.” Mr Knuth said

At a Press conference with Robbie Katter on Thursday, Mr Knuth said “Farmers and landowners are doing it tough at the moment, but one thing you can guarantee is that they will look after us during COVID-19.  Unfortunately, that is not the case when it comes to these multi-national companies”

When asked what other action can farmers and wholesalers take if MSF refuses to budge on pricing? ​Mr Knuth replied “Flood MSF direct with letters of complaint.”






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