MSF sugar about-turn hailed a win


Queensland Senator Susan McDonald, has hailed as a win for people power following MSF Sugar’s decision to now supply Australian customers with molasses to help feed beef and dairy stock through winter.

MSF had told its Australian customers that their molasses orders would not be considered in the 2020 cane crushing season which sparked widespread outrage among northern graziers and dairy farmers.

It is believed the company would only sell molasses to farmers who supplied cane to its mills in South Johnstone, Gordonvale and the Atherton Tablelands, and send the rest to Thailand where its parent company, Mitr Pohl, is located. 

MSF Sugar fails farmers in the north

But on Wednesday night after pressure from Senator McDonald, the media and consumers, the company reversed its stance and will send letters to customers advising them to place their molasses orders by May 30.

Senator McDonald congratulated MSF on its decision, saying it would be a huge relief for the North’s graziers and dairy industry.

She added she would still seek to have foreign ownership laws changed so Australian primary producers wouldn’t have to face a similar situation in the future.

“Molasses is a critical part of feeding cattle in the drier months and there were real fears that many graziers and dairy farmers would be pushed to the wall either by not having access to it or by having to pay extra to freight it up from southern mills,” she said.

“I commend MSF for its decision as it will be a huge relief for many people on the land.

“I’m on the record as saying foreign investment is a vital part of Australia’s entire agricultural sector, but we need to ensure that such investment benefits our domestic markets first and foremost.

“I will be discussing with Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg what the Morrison Government can do to ensure foreign ownership represents a fair deal for our farmers.”

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