'Heavy heart': Chairman steps down after 51 years
CHAIRMAN of Sunshine Sugar, Ian Causley has stepped down from the board after 51 years.
Sunshine Sugar and its grower members held their annual general meeting in Ballina recently, where Mr Causley gave his final chairman's report.
"It is with somewhat of a heavy heart I step down from the board," he said.
"I was first elected to the Clarence Sugar Executive in 1966 and have served on industry committees ever since. I thank all of the growers and staff for their support and confidence."
Sunshine Sugar chief executive, Chris Connors, said Mr Causley contributed "years of farming and industry experience", and said his "distinguished career in politics saw him inject a very high standard of chairmanship to the board".
Highlights from the AGM included the acknowledgement of a solid crushing performance and industry-leading pricing for growers amidst fluctuating and at times volatile market conditions.
A number of positive outcomes from the restructuring of Sunshine Sugar under its 50% ownership with Manildra Group were also outlined, including distribution payments to members and shared knowledge and resource gains.
Mr Connors gave a detailed presentation covering current and future projects.
"Our focus for the next 12-18 months is to optimise the businesses through good management of our core raw and refined sugar business in conjunction with development of strategic diversification projects," he said.
"A number of these projects are showing great promise, and will be assessed on their commercial viability over the coming months."
Incoming chairman of the Sunshine Sugar board, Jim Sneesby, has a long association with the NSW sugar industry.
"We are fortunate to have an enthusiastic work force and a strategy for a diversified, long-term future," he said.
Mr Sneesby said the cane industry was facing some pressure from the horticulture industry for land, but was confident that sugar cane would remain the most suitable crop for the floodplains across the Northern Rivers region.