Sugar cane.
Sugar cane. Lee Constable

Inquiry will hear sugar mill monopoly could hurt growers

SUGAR growers in northern New South Wales and Queensland will warn a Senate committee that the rising monopoly of mills could leave them open to unfair market practices.

A Senate committee will start a series of hearings into the marketing of sugar, foreign investment and competition laws in Murwillumbah on Tuesday.

The NSW Cane Growers' Association and Queensland's Canegrowers groups warned that sugar growers could be losing to the mills.

In a submission to the inquiry, NSWCGA president Wayne Rogers wrote that growers' premiums were already being "eroded and in some cases negated" by Wilmar, which the company has rejected in its submission.

Similarly, Canegrowers chairman Kevin Borg has urged national action to improve and enforce competition laws to help address market imbalances due in part to the growth in foreign investment in milling.