4 Jun 2013

Sugar officials arrive in Fiji for high-level meeting

4:46 am on 4 June 2013

Two leading officials of the International Sugar Organisation have arrived in Fiji for a high-level meeting with the Permanent Secretary for Sugar, Lieutenant-Colonel Manasa Vaniqi.

The Fiji Sun reports ISO executive director Dr Peter Baron and vice chairman Ambassador Derrick Heaven from Jamaica arrived for the June 3-7 meeting at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa in Nadi.

The international sugar agreement is set to expire at the end of the year and the meeting will look at the council's options to extend it.

The meeting comes as some sugar cane farmers are reportedly returning after weeks of negotiations on mill conditions and the sugar cane price, which they say is too low.

The Cane Growers Association says the industry, which has been in decline for 12 years, remains dire despite a near record payout for the 2012 season.

The meeting will also deal with the replacement of Dr Baron as executive director after 20 years leading the ISO.