Nordzucker CEO Lars Gorissen toured Farleigh Mill today during a visit to Mackay.
Nordzucker CEO Lars Gorissen toured Farleigh Mill today during a visit to Mackay. Zizi Averill

Nordzucker tours newly acquired Mackay Sugar mills

SENIOR representatives of the German-based sugar company Nordzucker are in the region, touring the facilities of their newly acquired mills and meeting with growers and mill workers.

Nordzucker CEO Lars Gorissen and chief operating officer Axel Aumuller have spent the past week meeting with representatives of Mackay Sugar and local growers.

Today Dr Gorissen toured Farleigh Mill, and yesterday he met with Racecourse Mill workers.

He said there was generally a mood of optimism among workers and growers.

"There is a lot of openness and a positive mood,” Dr Gorissen said.

"The last few years have been very difficult with growers facing an uncertain future”

He said the recently finalised Nordzucker deal would provide growers with a sense of stability and certainty.

But Dr Gorissen emphasised there was still a lot of work needed to bring the region's sugar industry up to standard.

His arrival and the grower meetings, come as Mackay Sugar's new board has been announced in the wake of the international takeover.

Mackay Sugar CEO Mark Day confirmed a new board had been formed, comprising three Mackay Sugar representatives and five Nordzucker representatives.

The new chairman of the board, Michael Gerloff, represents Nordzucker as their business development manager.

Paul Manning, who previously served on the board of Mackay Sugar, is deputy chairman and a grower director.

The remaining board members include Mr Day, Lee Blackburn, George Williams, Sven Buhrmann, Frank Knalmann and Maurice Maughan.

Dr Gorissen said the new board combined Mackay Sugar's strong grower relations with the financial planning and expertise of the Nordzucker team.

A grower meeting will be held tonight, starting at 6pm at Mackay Turf Club, 9 Peak Downs Hwy, Ooralea.

Mr Day said 400 growers were expected to attend.