The National Federation Party says Fiji Sugar Corporation’s CEO Graham Clark must take full responsibility for the colossal failure of FSC and resign immediately while FSC’s CEO, Graham Clark says the FSC does not respond to third party comments.
NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad says Clark, who has been FSC CEO for over three years, has presided over the demise of FSC, the deteriorating state of the sugar mills resulting in the Corporation being technically insolvent.
He says the painful reality of this disastrous performance of FSC under Clark is the suffering of cane growers, cane-cutters, lorry operators, mill workers and their families.
Prasad says Clark has enjoyed hefty salary, perks and privileges for far too long.
He adds that the beginning of the 2020 harvesting and crushing season has been one of the worst in recent history of the sugar industry due to lack of preparedness of Lautoka and Rarawai mills.
Prasad says this is due to the shutdown of the Lautoka Mill that has failed to start on the scheduled crushing date and FSC’s decision to continue harvesting operations in the Lautoka Mill area and for the cane to be transported to Rarawai Mill in Ba.
He says because of the inability of the Rarawai Mill to operate at its maximum capacity, cane growers in the Western Division cane belt areas from Rakiraki to Sigatoka are suffering and incurring huge losses due to loss of tonnage as harvested cane either dries up in the fields or on lorries and rail carts.
Prasad says the growers are incurring losses in trying to maintain the basic needs of idle cane cutters who either earn no income due to lack of harvesting or significantly reduced wages because of reduced or intermittent harvesting quota by FSC.
When contacted, FSC’s CEO Graham Clark says the Lautoka Mill started crushing as planned this morning and continues to crush, slowly building capacity.
He adds that Rarawai Mill is settled well and crushing above both last year levels and weekly budget and no cane from Lautoka is being transferred at present.
We have also sent questions to the Permanent Secretary for Sugar, Yogesh Karan.
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