This issue of the South African Sugar Journal (SASJ), the official voice of the South African Sugar Industry, has a special focus on the 91st SASTA Congress taking place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban) from 14-16 August 2018. Just last year, SASTA celebrated its 90th congress anniversary milestone and it was a hugely successful event. This year’s congress promises to be even more exciting and informative. This issue has messages from SASTA President Gavin Smith and SASTA Congress Organising Committee Chairman Dr Sumita Ramgareeb.
Blessed are SASTA Congress delegates, for they will have a sneak preview of the future! This year’s keynote address is entitled “The Business of Disruption – The Ripple Effect of Game Changing Technologies”. Trend Translator and Future Finance Specialist Bronwyn Williams from Flux Trends will reveal what the future holds for the sugar industry. According to Williams, the “Business of Disruption” address will take a closer look at the biggest consumer and technological trends impacting on businesses today and explore the things businesses can do to make themselves more resilient and more agile in the future. Get ready to be blown away!
Then there is a joint session called “Dextransformation – the Whole Picture” on the first day of the SASTA Congress. Confused? Fret not, all shall be simplified and by the end of the session you will be just fine. The session will be chaired by Dr Adey Wynne (CEO, Umfolozi Sugar Mill) and will include presentations from representatives of the whole value chain. Overall, this year’s scientific programme contains 57 paper presentations covering a diverse mixture of topical subjects. Dr Deborah Sweby gives more information in her article on highlights of the 2018 SASTA Programme.
Also in this edition, we reveal that South Africa is, for the first time ever, hosting a meeting of International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis Ltd (ICUMSA). ICUMSA is the only international organisation involved with the development of analytical methods for use in the sugar industry. ICUMSA comprises national committees from more than 20 member countries, including South Africa. The 31st ICUMSA Meeting will take place in Mpumalanga from 26-29 August 2018.
We also have an article which examines the global, continental and local ethanol outlook. On the pressing issue of the insufficient tariff, the industry embarked on a massive march to the Department of Trade and Industry Offices in Tshwane to protest against the flood of imports. The industry had applied for an increase in the Dollar Based Reference Price from $566 to $856. It was granted $680, which gives the industry improved protection.
For all these stories and more, read the rest of your exciting SASJ! Enjoy the read!
External Affairs Director
South African Sugar Association