The burning of sugar cane, is detrimental to the sugar industry and to the environment.
Although it may be argued that this practice brings some short term benefits, in terms of shortening harvest times, in the longer term, this is a practice that according to FSC, should not be encouraged.
From a milling perspective, burning of cane impacts the quality of sugar produced ultimately reducing the premium prices that Fiji is able to earn on its sugar exports.
FSC CEO Graham Clark says, the presence of these destructive compounds is penalised by international buyers of sugar, whereas sugar supplied free of these compounds attracts premium prices.
It is possible to remove these during the sugar manufacturing process by chemical dosing, but this is an expensive process adding to costs of production, which cannot be fully recovered from the sugar sales price.