Fiji’s bittersweet sugar industry

THERE is a new crew onboard which will try to sail Fiji’s sugar industry to better days. But with the same age-old equipment and archaic farming methods, will the industry be saved by the millions of dollars now being poured into Fiji Sugar Corporation’s coffers?

We have heard so many times that the industry is at a crossroad and in trouble. These are attributed to dwindling cane production, milling and transportation inefficiencies and cash flow problems within FSC. In its 2017 annual report, FSC auditors bluntly stated: “The financial statements indicate the existence of a material uncertainty that cast significant doubt about the Corporation’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

The Corporation has been incurring significant losses during recent years. For the year ending 31 May 2017, FSC incurred an operating loss of USD19.2m and net loss of USD21.8m. The Corporation is also not generating adequate cash flows to meet all its commitments and obligations as and when they fall due, said the auditors.

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