Important conversations are not always easy

Important conversations are not always easy

Opinion
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AgForce members are being asked to consider adding sugarcane as our fourth commodity.

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Sometimes I think agriculture is more like a family than an industry - for example, word travels so very quickly!

By now, many of you will have heard that AgForce members are being asked to consider adding sugarcane as our fourth commodity.

This follows a request from Burdekin-based Invicta Combined Growers Organisation for us to consider allowing their members to join AgForce.

Although we were genuinely surprised and humbled by Invicta's request, we can see the value it might offer to our members, and potentially to agriculture.

So, we are asking for the views of our members, and Invicta are doing the same with theirs.

This is a major topic for both organisations - and for industry generally - and we anticipate the full spectrum of issues and opinions to be raised.

Our members are already starting to state their views, which is great - that's what we want.

This is the beginning of a conversation that may, at times, be difficult but one I think the industry will be the better for having.

The cane industry - including its major peak body Canegrowers and the communities which have been built on sugar - will clearly be included in this conversation.

AgForce has already been in touch with sugar industry stakeholders to explain our response to the ICGO proposal and our intention to include them in the process - a constructive conversation.

What we already know is that our respective commodities share similar challenges and opportunities.

We hope this issue will bring the agriculture industry closer together.

After all, when we speak with a single, strong voice, we are so much more powerful.

Obviously, no-one knows yet how this conversation will end.

In the meantime, I am proud that we belong to an industry where we can have full, frank and confronting discussion all year and still sit down to Christmas dinner as good friends.

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