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Sunshine Sugar Sweet on Rum

Sunshine Sugar is a step closer to realising a vision to join the rum market, having today entered into a Heads of Agreement with Holey Dollar Rum Distilling Company.

The Holy Dollar brand is owned by former Olympic Yachtsman and multiple World Windsurfing Champion, Stuart Gilbert.

Stuart formerly owned the iconic Inner Circle Rum brand, which he successfully relaunched in 2002. The Inner Circle rum brand was officially launched by CSR in 1968. Whilst the rum was made at their distillery in Pyrmont, Sydney, the beginnings of this infamous Australian alcohol hails from 95 years before when CSR established the original and first known distillery in Australia at the Harwood Sugar Mill on the Clarence River in NSW Northern Rivers.

Since 2009, Stuart has been an International Rum Panel Judge at the International Wine and Spirit competition held in London each year.  His Holey Dollar rum has won numerous international awards, including World Wide Distiller of the Year.

Named after the coins made by Governor Macquarie in the earliest days of Australia's colonial history, Holey Dollar rum has been described as "rich and full on the nose and in the mouth with spice, exotic fruit, raisin and lots of oak. Clean in all respects. Lots of treacle with some bitter caramel giving some unexpected bite. Big and full bodied with woody, spicy finish.”

CEO of Sunshine Sugar, Chris Connors said; “we are excited to have agreed to partner with Stuart Gilbert and his Holey Dollar company. We look forward to working collaboratively to develop a full business case by the end of November 2019.”

The research and analysis undertaken during the business case process will determine if the project has the merit for both parties to proceed.

Mr Connors went on to say; “all going well, it is anticipated that a pot still plant will be built at either the Harwood or Broadwater Sugar Mill site as part of a graduated approach to developing the partnership over a period of time.”

3rd July 2019

Local Low GI Sugar makes Food and Beverage Industry Awards


Sunshine Sugar ‘s Low GI sugar is continuing to attract the attention of consumers and food and beverage makers across the country. The latest highlight for this locally grown and made sugar is that it has been named as a finalist in the 2019 Food & Beverage Industry Awards.

The Food & Beverage Industry Awards were established in 2004 to recognise and reward best practice and innovation in food and beverage manufacturing in Australia and New Zealand.

Sunshine Sugar CEO, Mr Chris Connors said, “This product innovation is an important part of our business strategy and not only provides a new product for us to market, but it provides choice for those customers looking for a healthier, all-natural ingredient option.”

Now in their 16th year, the Food & Beverage Industry Awards have become a pivotal event in the food and beverage industry's calendar, bringing manufacturers, large and small, together to celebrate some of the latest and greatest new product launches.

Sunshine Sugar Low GI sugar has been named as a finalist in the Ingredient Innovation category. Winners will be announced at the Awards Gala Dinner which is being held on the 18th July at Doltone House, Pyrmont.

Low GI packs


Warehouse KHogan April2019

Mr Kevin Hogan, Member for Page was at Harwood Sugar Mill to officially inspect the new $8.2million goods warehouse and silo storage facility. Funding for the project was split 50-50 between a Federal Government grant and Sunshine Sugar.

Mr Hogan said the facility will bring greater job security for the mill and the broader sugar industry and Lower Clarence economy. “This is a really exciting day in the growth and development of Sunshine Sugar.”

Worth $8.2 million, this facility will improve efficiencies to make sure we can get our product to market efficiently and cost-effectively.

Sunshine Sugar CEO Chris Connors said from a logistical point of view the new facility was a positive. “This is all part of our strategic business plan and at the end of the day we know we can’t stay the same as we have been in the past, we need to diversity and this is part of our diversification program,” he said. With Sunshine Sugar looking to expand their product range to broaden the consumer appeal of their products, Mr Connors said the facility will be put to good use.

“There is 4-5000tonnes of storage available, which is important for our new products, including our low GI sugar, “he said.

The warehouse is a modern facility with a dual roller door system which includes a state-of-the-art fast-acting emergency door, required for a food-grade facility such as this.

Sunshine Sugar’s Low GI Sugar, which commenced production in the Northern Rivers in mid-2018, has now attracted international attention.

Following initial enquiries made some eight months ago by Central Sugars Refinery based in Kuala Lumpur, significant tonnage of this all-Australian and Bonsucro certified sustainable product has already made its way to Malaysia with ongoing supply arrangements in place.

Central Sugars Refinery (CSR) is one of Malaysia’s most popular brands providing sugar and specialty sweetener ingredients for consumers, retailers, foodservice distributors, food manufacturers, culinary professionals and specialty markets across Malaysia.

Sunshine Sugar’s Low GI sugar has helped to fulfil one of CSR Malaysia’s commitments to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that it has signed with the National Diabetes Institute of Malaysia (NADI).

This MOA collaboration is focused on the promotion of a healthier lifestyle among Malaysians; with a commitment to spread awareness of consuming sugar responsibly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and fighting diabetes.

CSR Malaysia’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Hishammudin Hasan, commented “Low GI sugar, sourced from 100% Australian-owned Sunshine Sugar, will play an important role in our contribution to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, and in fighting diabetes and other associated diseases alongside NADI.”

CSR Malaysia is packaging the Low GI sugar sourced from New South Wales as ‘Better Brown’, and has supported its introduction with a major advertising campaign pitching a wholesome and tasty sugar that is suitable for every Malaysian looking to lead a healthier lifestyle.

It’s successful launch in the Malaysian market has led to ongoing orders of Low GI sugar into 2019.

Sunshine Sugar’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Connors said; “The enthusiastic response we have had from CSR Malaysia is testament to the quality and innovation that our Low GI Sugar represents.”

He went on to say; “Like many countries, Malaysia has increasing rates of overweight and obesity. Since introducing Low GI sugar to its consumer and industrial customers, the uptake has been strong, which is creating more market opportunities for our growers and mills here in Australia.”

Sunshine Sugar’s Low GI Sugar, which was developed in Australia, retains naturally occurring and beneficial antioxidants. One hundred percent natural, low GI sugar is more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised – resulting in a lower and slower rise in blood glucose.

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

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