The all Australian NSW sugar industry

The all Australian NSW sugar industry | The Cultivator Autumn 2021

The all Australian NSW sugar industry

Operating as a partnership between Manildra Group and the grower-owned New South Wales Sugar Milling Co-operative, Sunshine Sugar is now the only 100 per cent Australian-grown, made and owned brand of raw and refined sugar in the domestic Australian market.

Nestled in the north eastern corner of New South Wales, the sugar industry encapsulates some 34,000 hectares of productive cane land, owned and operated by over 500 farming families.

Sunshine Sugar’s three sugar mills in Condong, Broadwater and Harwood and one sugar refinery in Harwood, process up to two million tonnes of sugarcane annually to produce over 200,000 tonnes of raw sugar.

Direct-Consumption raw sugar along with world- class Low GI sugar are produced on site at the Condong Sugar Mill which sits in the shadow of the iconic Mount Warning in the Tweed Valley.

Manildra Group’s partnership with the New South Wales Sugar Milling Co-operative began in 1988 to produce, distribute, and market refined sugar with the construction of a co-owned sugar refinery at Harwood to produce, distribute and market refined sugar products. Today, Manildra Harwood Sugar refinery fulfils some 20 per cent of the domestic markets’ refined sugar demand.

Along with the Sunshine Sugar branded retail range available in select supermarkets, the food-grade mill at Condong and refinery at Harwood supply private label products for some of Australia’s biggest retailers.

More than 300 food and beverage manufacturers across Australia source their crystal and liquid sugars from Sunshine Sugar, in quantities ranging from 1kg bags to bulk tankers and trucks.

A food-grade molasses and a highly sought-after mill molasses also form a part of the overall product range.

With recent news of sugar mill closures at both Maryborough and Bingera in Queensland, the sugar industry is experiencing its fair share of ups and downs.

“Being quintessentially Australian though, means that Sunshine Sugar will continue to punch above its weight to retain its title of being 100 per cent Australian-grown, made and owned and having the longest continuously operating sugar mill in the nation,” said Sunshine Sugar Chief Executive Office, Chris Connors.

“Whilst 2020 was a difficult time for businesses and communities alike, the New South Wales sugar industry has achieved some positive outcomes in pricing and cost savings.

“With the recent unrest in the Queensland industry, we need to remain positive and focused on our core objective of keeping our industry and our growers here in New South Wales sustainable for the long term,” Mr Connors said.