CANE farmers are ending the year on a high with 600 farm businesses independently assessed as operating at or above industry best practice under the acclaimed Smartcane BMP program.
Canegrowers chief executive officer Dan Galligan said it was evidence of remarkable participation and commitment on behalf of growers.
"I congratulate everyone involved," Mr Galligan said.
"Growers have driven this program to be 18 months ahead of the targets for accreditations agreed to by industry and the Queensland Government as part of its funding support."
The Wet Tropics and Mackay-Whitsundays regions have exceeded their 2022 targets for hectares accredited while the Burdekin region is on track to do the same, meeting its 2022 target this week."
The 600 Smartcane BMP accreditations cover more than 138,000 hectares of cane land in Queensland - equivalent to 35 per cent of the area planted to cane.
Smartcane BMP is the first program to achieve recognition by the Queensland Government as satisfying its regulatory requirements around environmental practice for the future of the Great Barrier Reef.
"They are part of the 81pc of the industry engaged with the program including growers who are working with advisers and the program facilitators to benchmark their practices, improve record keeping or, if needed, make changes to meet the standards," Mr Galligan said.
"Smartcane BMP has rigour and integrity and is a gold standard program developed and run by industry.
"The world is now looking at our sugar as a sustainable product and we need the Queensland and Australian governments to recognise our industry in the same light.
"It is a shame that among this great result government reef report cards continue to misrepresent the efforts of growers and fail to acknowledge the true scale of our industry's commitment to sustainability."