WABCG Conference: Future Looks Bright Despite Prices

Published online: Jul 09, 2007 Sugar Producer Staff
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The future of sugar production worldwide looks brighter, despite current low prices, driven higher by the surging demand for renewable energy, World Association for Beet and Cane Growers president Bill Hejl tells the association's annual conference in Brisbane, Australia. Chairing the opening session of the conference, Hejl, a beet grower from North Dakota, says he remains concerned about the return to low prices on the world sugar market. "The world sugar price is back to levels that don't allow a dignified standard of living for beet and cane growers," he says. "In many cases, growers have been pushed to produce below their cost of production." Hejl says renewable energy from sugarbeet and cane will be a valuable alternative income stream for sugar producers. He says there is still a major capacity for beet and cane growers worldwide to extend their production but the extra sugar will need to be sold into renewable energy markets and not used as sugar for consumption.