ESA provides an independent cane testing service, which is done through supervising the processes for cane testing at each mill laboratory. The mills perform the cane testing function on behalf of ESA under a Service Level Agreement. The ESA Cane Testing Services section then provides an independent audit on all cane testing operations at each mill and provides guidance on cane testing for the wider industry. The audit covers equipment and instruments, sampling and analytical methods and practices as well as maintenance of records and documents. This is to ensure that the cane payment process is equitable to both the miller and the growers.
The critical elements of the cane testing system are: the weighing of cane and mixed juice; the sampling of cane, bagasse and mixed juice; and the analysis of the same products for pol, brix, moisture and suspended solids. Unlike in other industries where Recoverable Value (RV) is used, the measure of quality used as a basis for payment in Swaziland is pol % cane.
This section reports on its function to Council through the ESA Cane Testing Service Technical Committee.