Over the past week Burdekin CANEGROWERS Managers Debra Burden and Wayne Smith visited each mill’s laboratory to meet with the Work Place Coordinators who are in charge of cane auditing which is an essential component of the Cane Analysis Programme (CAP).

Cane Auditors are independent and are employed to carry out specific duties to overview all aspects related to the weighing, tracking, sampling and analysis required to determine the value of cane.

They also have the capacity to guide resolution of all matters in dispute relating to ownership and value of cane deliveries.

During the visit each Cane Auditor commented on season progress, areas that have been requiring significant or special attention and the actions that have been implemented to address a resolution of these.

One of the significant issues raised was the very high level of deficient consignment notes and the impact that this is having on auditors in carrying out their duties.

Just in cane fibre determination alone incorrect data on consignment notes can affect the fibre allocation being used in cane payment by:

1. Having incorrect varieties analysed in a fibre class which can result in cancelled fibre samples

2. If an incorrect fibre is identified and discarded then a smaller sample size is being applied to calculate the daily fibre allocation which then increases the variability in the result

3. Also consignment notes with no block and paddock data indicated are excluded from sample collection as the variety is unknown

4. As fibre allocations obtained are applied to every suppliers cane inaccuracies on consignment notes can then affect a large tonnage of cane

A suggestion that came up during the discussions to try and address incorrect block and paddock information was to investigate an online facility incorporated into the Grower Web where growers could indicate that the block, paddock, variety and class data on their field maps is correct.

Earlier this year CANEGROWERS engaged consultant Bernie Milford to undertake a review of the CAP which incorporated visits to the various mill sites to provide an audit of the analysis and audit systems to ensure that they are confirming to the agreements and to appropriate practice.

The review also looked at issues relating to cane analysis and audit and to prepare suggestions to deal with challenges that arise.  Mr Milford’s report is expected to be released next week.


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