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Sunshine Sugar’s Low GI Sugar has taken out the award for Excellence in Innovation at the 2018 Northern Rivers Regional Business Awards.

Mr Chris Connors, Sunshine Sugar CEO commented; “We have been working for some time with Nutrition Innovation Group, who are leaders in the field of nutrition research and sugar innovation, to produce Nucane™, a wholesome cane sugar that is rich in antioxidants with a low glycemic index.”

With increasing focus on health concerns such as obesity and diabetes around the globe, Nucane™ offers the opportunity for Sunshine Sugar to manufacture a healthier cane sugar on a scale that makes it available and affordable for consumers as well as manufacturers of foods and beverages.

Developed in Australia, this technology applies advanced production methodologies at the sugar milling stage to consistently produce a sugar that retains naturally occurring and beneficial antioxidants. Nucane™ is a 100% natural, low GI cane sugar that is more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised – resulting in a lower and slower rise in blood glucose.

Mr Connors went on to say; “This award is acknowledgement of our commitment to the future of sugar in delivering health benefits to consumers and sustained returns to our cane growers, the NSW Sugar Industry and to the Northern Rivers. It was humbling to be competing with some of the great innovators in our Region. The Northern Rivers is blessed with people and businesses that are talented in developing our future.”

As a Regional winner, Sunshine Sugar we will now go on to compete for the State's top honour at the NSW Business Chamber State Business Awards, culminating in the Gala Awards Dinner in Sydney on Friday 23 November, Luna Park.

September 2018 

The annual Woodburn Riverside Festival is a family-oriented day filled with stalls, activities and entertainment, all centred around the magnificent Richmond River.

Now in its eight consecutive year, the Woodburn Riverside Festival has continued to go from strength to strength, and Sunshine Sugar has been a proud supporter since its inception.

Operations Manager of Sunshine Sugars’ Broadwater Sugar Mill, Mr David Wood, recently met with event organisers Glenn Crawford and Pam Bellingham, confirming ongoing sponsorship support as a Gold Sponsor.

The Broadwater Sugar Mill will again be entering a vessel in the iconic Raft Race, hoping to outperform last years’ effort. Whilst the Mill may have had the “best dressed” raft in 2017, this year the captain and crew will be redesigning the craft to not just look good, but also to perform with more nautical agility to power from one side to the river to the finishing line on the other.

Being held on Saturday 13th October at Riverside Park, Woodburn; the festival brings the local community together to celebrate not only the splendour of the river, but the important role it has played in developing and sustaining the Richmond Valley.

With a full schedule of activities from 9am to 9pm, there should be something for everyone on offer. Along with amusement rides, performances by local schools, markets, barbecue, and a live band; the infamous and extremely competitive Council Challenge race between Richmond Valley Council and Lismore City Council will take place ahead of the open raft race and mini biathlon. The event culminates in the evening, with a fireworks display over the river.

Woodburn Fest certificate 2018

PIC: (Left to Right): Glenn Crawford, Pam Bellingham, David Wood

Sunshine Sugar has been recognised for its commitment to Work Health & Safety, taking out the award for Excellence in Work Health & Safety at the Clarence Valley Business Excellence Awards over the weekend.

These Awards have been running since 2007 and have become a focal point for local businesses striving for improvement, and they provide a forum for rewarding business excellence.

As a major regional employer with significant manufacturing infrastructure, Sunshine Sugar has developed a number of programs specifically targeted at improving the health and wellbeing of employees.

CEO Chris Connors explains; “We are strongly committed to continuous improvement and have developed a safety management system to AS/NZS 4801(ISO45001). Safety Committees are active across all areas of the business and are supported by formalised training programs, reporting and reward systems for positive safety performance as well as regular internal and external audits on safety systems and processes.”

Sunshine Sugar has also worked to deliver a Work Health and Safety Manual specifically for the growing and harvesting sector and participates in the SafeWork NSW Mentoring program.

Mr Connors added; “with a set of core values in place that have been developed by the people within the business and endorsed and supported by both management and the Board – we have a strong culture around Teamwork, Integrity, Excellence, Accountability and Safety. And it’s working.”

Entering the Business Excellence Awards gives local businesses the opportunity to analyze their operation, reflect on achievements and clarify plans to keep themselves vibrant and progressive.

CVBE Award.Grant and Dale

The newly refurbished Clarence Cane Growers office in River Street Maclean, officially opened its doors to special guests today.

Mayor Jim Simmons, along with Clarence Valley Council General Manager, Ashley Lindsay and President of the Maclean Chamber of Commerce Peter Gordon; all spoke at the event; acknowledging the significant value of the cane industry to the local economy and the demonstration of commitment by the Association in investing in the future of their main street offices, their workforce and their members.

The event was also attended by representatives from the Richmond and Tweed Valley cane grower groups as well as staff from the Harwood Sugar Mill and Refinery.

The catalyst for the transformation was extensive termite damage to the timber floors and walls of the original building. Local tradespeople were brought in to repair and extensively renovate the building that has housed local cane grower association staff for decades.

Chairman of the Clarence Cane Growers and the NSW Cane Growers, Mr Ross Farlow, said; “We are very proud of the modern and well-equipped facility we now have, and look forward to this being a solid and productive base for current and future generations of local cane industry representatives.”

Resident staff members Brendan Reeves and Teresa Colbrelli played an active role in designing and overseeing the renovation project.

As incoming Manager of the Clarence Cane Growers, Brendan has been able to put his own mark on the design and fit out of his new office space. He remarked; “A lot of thought has gone into not just the layout of the rooms, but things such as the use of colour and flow of natural light into different spaces has been considered.”

The Clarence Cane Industry is the biggest contributor to the Clarence Valley agri-food economy, with an estimated value of around $90 million. Made up of farming families, local cane growers have been a major part of the Clarence Valley landscape and community for well over 100 years.

10th July 2018

Sunshine Sugar’s Low GI Sugar is now ready to hit the shelves around the country, as the first line of the new retail product was produced over the weekend.

Sunshine Sugar is the first in the world to install the technology to produce Nucane – the good sugar®, a wholesome cane sugar that is rich in antioxidants with a low glycemic index.

Mr Chris Connors, CEO of Sunshine Sugar commented; “The NSW sugar industry is focussed on delivering a range of new products that meet the demands of consumers and give returns to our growers. With a worldwide focus on health concerns such as obesity and diabetes, Nucane™ offers our business the opportunity to manufacture a healthier cane sugar on a scale that makes it widely available and affordable.”

Sunshine Sugar’s Low GI sugar is made using the Nucane™ process, which was developed in Australia. The brainchild of Dr David Kannar of the Nutrition Innovation Group, this technology applies advanced production methodologies at the sugar milling stage to consistently produce a sugar that retains naturally occurring and beneficial antioxidants. Nucane™ is a 100% natural, low GI cane sugar that is more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised – resulting in a lower and slower rise in blood glucose.

Sunshine Sugar is the only 100% Bonsucro certified and Australian owned sugar operations in the world and is proud to be an Australian company leading the way in this initiative.

A short video of the new retail product, Sunshine Sugar Low GI Sugar, making its way through the packing facility can be viewed at:

Low GI First Packs



The June edition of Food and Drink Business Magazine is again featuring our new Low GI Sugar and how this Australian invention is set to change many recipes in creating healthier versions of the food and drinks we all enjoy. Excerpt as follows;

Food Drink.June edition.snippet

The first truck load of billets for the 2018 cane harvest season arrived at Broadwater this morning. Crushing will commence at the Harwood Mill later this week, and Condong Mill next week. 

In the Richmond Valley, local growers continue to produce the greatest volume of sugar cane of the three main growing regions in NSW.

The Broadwater Mill expects to crush more than 700,000 tonnes of cane between June and December this year. The footprint of land under sugar cane in the Richmond has been steadily extending as farming ground in western parts of the valley move to sugar production. “New and existing land owners are seeing the value in sugar cane and the NSW sugar industry as a good investment now and into the future”, says Mr Connors. “As an industry, we have a solid business model, supported by well-established infrastructure and positive grower relations; which has encouraged a number of broad acre farmers to make the move to sugar cane production.”

In the Clarence Valley, Australia’s longest running sugar mill, the Harwood Mill and Refinery is also preparing for a busy season. Approximately 670,000 tonnes of cane is forecast to make its way to the Harwood Mill for crushing.

A year on for the devastating floods that heavily affected the Tweed Valley, growers are looking forward to a less dramatic season and are expecting to harvest some 500,000 tonnes of cane.

This cane will be milled at the Condong Sugar Mill and much of it will produce a Low-GI sugar for both industrial and retail markets. CEO of Sunshine Sugar, Chris Connors said; “The start of the 2018 crush signals the start of full scale production of this exciting development in sugar. Low GI to World Health Organisation standards, we are aiming to provide a healthy sugar option for food and beverage manufacturers and consumers across Australia.”

Cane truck1 2018

Audio of an interview with Chris Connors, CEO of Sunshine Sugar, which aired on ABC Country Hour can be accessed at the following link:

In this interview, Chris talks about Sunshine Sugar's new Low GI sugar and responds to questions regarding a proposed sugar tax in Australia.

Note: Interview with Chris commences at 17:00

20th March 2018

Ag Minister.190318

Sunshine Sugar welcomed the Federal Agriculture Minister, Mr David Littleproud along with local member for Page, Kevin Hogan, to its Harwood Mill and Refinery this week.

Sunshine Sugar CEO, Mr Chris Connors, hosted the delegation and said; “Mr Littleproud clearly has a good understanding of the Australian agricultural sector. This visit was a great opportunity for us to share our specific industry concerns and plans directly with him; with particular focus on our diversification projects such as Low GI sugar.”

This Low GI sugar is made using the nucane process.  An Australian technology, it applies an algorithm throughout the sugar milling stage to retain naturally occurring and beneficial antioxidants. Low GI sugar is a wholesome sugar that is more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised – allowing for a lower and slower rise in blood glucose. It is a 100% natural cane sugar that can be used in any food or beverage recipe.

The Agriculture Minister welcomed this innovation and shared his opposition to the introduction of a sugar tax, saying that he supported people’s right to make their own decisions around personal matters such as food and beverage consumption. With a background in agribusiness and politics, Mr Littleproud certainly has the credentials to serve rural and regional Australia. He is passionate in his belief that farmers are too often overlooked as custodians of the land and that more needs to be done to educate the nation about where and how our foods and fibres are made. As a supporter of the decentralisation of some government agencies, he also believes that moving jobs into regional centres is important and that every additional job in a regional area has a noticeable, positive impact on that local economy.

Mr Littleproud congratulated the Sunshine Sugar team on the development of their new Low-GI sugar and commitment to sustainable practice, and stands ready to support the NSW sugar industry in his role as Minister for Agriculture.

Photo L to R: Chris Connors, CEO of Sunshine Sugar; Kevin Hogan, Member for Page, holding a bowl of locally produced Low GI sugar; David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture


Aired 26 February 2018

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