NRL 2019
The NRL 2019 Season Launch commercial features spectacular footage of cane fires captured on NSW cane farms here in the Northern Rivers.
Not only are these scenes spectacular, but the care and control taken by our farmers when undertaking necessary burning is to be commended.
All of the cast and crew who attended these fires expressed how safe they felt and how priveleged they were to have such up close access to the art and control of the iconic cane fire.

Empirevale School 2018


Sunshine Sugar is proud to announce that it is coming on board as a sponsor of the Green Innovation Awards for 2019.

Following the success of its inaugural program last year, the Green Innovation Awards has this year attracted NSW Government funding as well as sponsorship from a number of well-known local companies committed to green and innovative practices, including Sunshine Sugar.

Founded by local business woman, Dr. Bridie Cullinane (Chiropractor), the Green Innovation Awards encourage children to develop a passion for the environment by asking them to invent, develop and present solutions for a greener way of living and working.

Sunshine Sugar has been pro-active in adopting sustainable practices for many years. The NSW sugar industry is certified sustainable to the global Bonsucro standard, across all its operations including farming, milling and refinery.

The local sugar industry has also demonstrated its commitment to the environment by investing in co-generation plants that utilise the crushed cane by-product, known as bagasse. The two plants are now run by Cape Byron and produce an electricity supply that not only runs the local sugar mills at Condong and Broadwater, but also provide power back into the local electricity grid.

Sunshine Sugar was introduced to the Green Innovation Awards last year, when approached by the Empire Vale Public School. This small school located near the Broadwater Sugar Mill won the primary school category of the 2018 Green Innovation Awards by creating an ethanol-based biofuel made from local sugar cane to run the school’s lawnmower. Their vision is that this sugar-based biofuel will be able to run cane trucks in the future.

Chief Executive Officer Mr Chris Connors said; “Sunshine Sugar has done a lot of work over the past decade to ensure we operate our business sustainably - from our farming practices all the way through the factory. Testament to this is the sustainable certification we have achieved under the Bonsucro global standard.”

Mr Connors went on to say; “support for the Green Innovation Awards is a complementary fit for our business, as it encourages the current and next generations alike to think and act more sustainably for the betterment of the environment and the community.”

Sunshine Sugar’s sponsorship will enable entries from remote and disadvantaged communities to be accepted, and interest is already coming in from as far afield as Papua New Guinea.

Open to both primary and high school students, entrants are asked to demonstrate their innovative ideas in the categories of waste management, water management, building and packaging materials or biofuels and renewable energy.

For more information about the Green Innovation Awards and how to enter, go to

Kelsey Chq1

Pictured L to R: Grant Kaczorowski, Kelsey Sheehan, Austie Sheehan


Sweet Future For Medical Student

Clarence Valleys’ Kelsey Sheehan may only be small in stature, but she punches well above her weight when it comes to her academic and sporting achievements.

Kelsey is the latest recipient of the Sunshine Sugar sponsored, Warwick Anderson Award for excellence in STEM.

The annual Warwick Anderson Award recognises a combination of academic and leadership excellence displayed by a Maclean High School Year 12 student undertaking studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

A former Maclean High School student himself, Professor Anderson was born and raised on a sugar cane farm in the Clarence Valley and has gone on to become a world leader in the field of health and medical research.

Mr Grant Kaczorowski, Operations Manager of the Harwood Sugar Mill and Refinery recently had the pleasure of handing over a cheque for $1,000 to Kelsey. These funds will go towards the cost of relocating and commencing studies in Biomedical Science at the Newcastle University.

Kelsey, who has competed at a State level in a range of athletic events, has always been interested in the mechanics of the human body. Embarking on a medical career will only fuel her passion for better understanding how the body functions and the science behind the healing process.

Kelsey’s achievement in winning this award was made even more memorable by the presence of her father. Proud dad, Austie Sheehan, is a Production Superintendent at the Harwood Mill.  Austie joined Mill staff in congratulating Kelsey on her outstanding accomplishment.

Sunshine Sugar is proud to support our local youth - offering apprenticeships, traineeships, academic awards and school donations across the Northern Rivers each year.

Leonard 2 Dec2018

Each year Sunshine Sugar offers apprenticeships, traineeships and work experience placements for students from schools throughout the Northern Rivers.

Harwood Mill recently hosted Leonard Young from Maclean High School for a week of work experience in the mechanical trades area of the Sugar Mill and Refinery. Leonard enjoyed the experience, learned a lot and is now hoping to secure a trade apprenticeship. The team at Sunshine Sugar thoroughly enjoy the privilege of supporting and mentoring bright young people like Leonard looking to kick start their careers.

 Woodburn poster.reduced
The combined Woodburn Riverside Festival and Carols by Candlelight will be held at RiversidePark, Woodburn on Saturday 15th December. Sunshine Sugar has sponsored this family fun event since its inception and look forward to celebrating again this year with the local community and visitors.
Woodburn poster
Mullum visit2

Condong Sugar Mill recently enjoyed a visit from a group of students from Mullumbimby Home School.

Seven children and two teachers explored the inner workings of the mill and asked many good questions as they learned about the sugar growing and making process.

As home to Sunshine Sugar’s Low GI, the group got to see how this wholesome sugar is made…and were even able to take some home to try.

Yamba SLS.2

As a thank you to the Yamba Surf Life Saving Club for the generous donation of a CPR mannequin, staff from Sunshine Sugar’s Harwood Mill & Refinery made a reciprocal donation, presenting a cheque to Club President Joe Dougherty.

With the Yamba Surf Life Saving Club recently taking delivery of a number of new training mannequins, Sunshine Sugar was able to secure a second-hand unit. This training device will be used on site at the Harwood Mill, with a focus on confined space rescues.

Throughout the season Yamba Surf Club conducts a range of training courses, encouraging their members to continue to update their skills to ensure that the club continues its prime purpose of patrolling Main Beach to the highest standards.

Yamba Surf Club was founded in 1908. It is the oldest surf club on the Far North Coast of New South Wales and one of the oldest in the world.

PIC: Joe Dougherty, YSL Club President (L) Peter Allford, Sunshine Sugar  (R)

Diabetes Day


Diabetes is a serious and complex condition which can affect the entire body. Diabetes can have a significant impact on quality of life and can reduce life expectancy. While there is currently no cure for diabetes, you can live an enjoyable life by learning about the condition and effectively managing it.

When someone has diabetes, their body can’t maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood. Glucose is a form of sugar which is the main source of energy for our bodies. Unhealthy levels of glucose in the blood can lead to health complications.

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and kidney failure in adults. It increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke and affects mental health as well as physical health.

It is recommended that people with diabetes have moderate amounts of carbohydrate and include foods that have a low GI (glycemic index).

The glycemic index or GI ranks carbohydrates according to their effect on blood glucose levels. The lower the GI, the slower the rise in blood glucose levels will be when the food is consumed. The effect may differ from person to person.

Some research has shown that by eating a diet with a lower GI, people with diabetes can reduce their average blood glucose levels. This is important in reducing the risk of developing diabetes-related complications.

Sunshine Sugar has introduced a Low GI sugar made wholesome by retaining the naturally occurring and beneficial antioxidants, just as nature intended. One hundred percent natural, low GI sugar is more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised – resulting in a lower and slower rise in blood glucose.

Click here to access some recipes we have compiled where Sunshine Sugar's Low GI sugar can be used to create a delicious treat with a lower overall GI.

Show ribbons


The sugar cane industry is on display at the annual Mullumbimby Agricultural Show which is being run over the 10th and 11th of November.

Sunshine Sugar has provided sponsorship for the cooking and preserves competitions which is staged in the Main Pavilion. A display of cane farming memorabilia, locally made sugar products and industry information and giveaways will be housed in this pavilion.

The Mullumbimby Agricultural Show is a celebration of the diverse and evolving agricultural, horticultural and livestock industries in the area.  The Show is a weekend of agricultural, horticultural and pastoral competitions, displays and demonstrations, exhibitions, entertainment, commercial exhibits, carnival rides and a variety of food stalls.

Tweed Show 2018
Another strong year of entries in the cane competition at this year's Murwillumbah Show, which was held over the 2nd and 3rd of November. Sunshine Sugar is a proud sponsor of the Show. As well as supporting the Tweed Sugar Industry pavillion with local sugar products on display, we also sponsored some of the cookery classes including Champion Preserve.

Kent 3

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

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.

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.

Rich River Coffee 1

Local cane farmer Danny Lickiss is a regular at Rich River Coffee.

Rich River Coffee may only have a small shopfront along the main street of Woodburn, but when it comes to coffee, these baristas and their car racing memorabilia have a big local following.

Mark and Jodie are the people who make this little coffee shop so special. They have a knack for knowing their customer’s names and remembering just how they like their coffee. This knack, along with a good grasp on the art of making a great coffee; have made this little business a big local success.

Local cane farmer, Danny Lickiss is not only a regular customer of Mark and Jodie’s, he and his family operate a number of sugar cane properties around Woodburn. All of the harvested cane is supplied to the local Broadwater Sugar Mill.

Danny dropped by Rich River Coffee recently to deliver some samples of Sunshine Sugars’ new look sugar sachets filled with sugar that is grown and made locally.

Sunshine Sugar is currently promoting a new look across its entire retail range which includes a new Low GI sugar as well as Raw, White and Caster sugar. A premium blend molasses is also hitting the local shelves as a health ingredient.

To support local farmers like Danny, look for locally grown and made Sunshine Sugar. If you happen to purchase Sunshine Sugars’ Caster sugar you will see Danny and his story featured on the back of the pack!

Cabbage Island RL.Lismore2018


Congratulations to the Cabbage Tree Island Rugby League club on winning the Lismore Aboriginal Knockout Carnival for a second straight year, after defeating Tabulam in the final at Oakes Oval.

Sunshine Sugar is proud to support the Cabbage Tree Island club as they now prepare for the NSW State Carnival at Dubbo over the October long weekend.

 Hogan and Nucane2

Federal Member for Page, Mr Kevin Hogan acknowledged Sunshine Sugar in Parliament this week as the first in the world to produce Nucane™ a new Low GI sugar.
"They are industry leaders with this new healthy sugar."
Footage can be viewed on our Facebook page.

Young brothers2

Keeping it sweet....The Young family is a well-known clan in the Clarence Valley, especially when it comes to sugar cane and coffee.

Born and raised by cane farming parents at Harwood, brothers Matt and Danny make a formidable team.

While Matt runs the family cane farming operations, his younger brother Danny has established himself as an entrepreneurial figure in the world of coffee. With a business built around the art of roasting, cupping and customer service, the Botero brand is regarded as a delicious piece of the metropolis hidden amongst the lush cane fields.

Whilst the brothers may have chosen very different career paths, they both share a love of the Clarence Valley and enjoy being able to do what they do alongside family and childhood friends.

And their worlds come even closer together when it comes to enjoying great coffee and cuisine, for the common ingredient they share is sugar - locally grown and made Sunshine Sugar.

Some 500 farming families throughout the Northern Rivers grow the sugar cane that supplies three locally owned and operated sugar mills. The NSW industry is not just the only 100% Australian owned sugar producer, but it is the only sugar producer in the world that is certified sustainable across all of its growing and manufacturing operations under the international Bonsucro standard.

Each year Matt Young grows thousands of tonnes of sugar cane on the family properties, some of which makes its way back to Botero as an ingredient in the fine food prepared in-house to accompany the sumptuous coffee and tea blends on offer.

Sunshine Sugar produces a complete range of products including a new Low GI raw sugar as well as white, caster, icing and brown sugar. They also make a range of syrups including molasses, treacle and golden syrup.

To support young locals like Matt and Danny, look for Australian grown and owned Sunshine Sugar.

McAuley 2018

For the sixth consecutive year, staff and students from McAuley College in Grafton have toured the sugar production facilities at the Harwood Mill and Refinery, as well as local Clarence Valley cane farms.

Agricultural Studies staff along with 15 students, spent several hours meeting with milling staff and growers, giving them the opportunity to see first-hand how sugar is grown and made.

Highlights of the visit included learning about how the sugar mills produce their own electricity and operate virtually carbon-neutral. In the field, they learned that the sugar cane plant is also environmentally friendly, as it acts as a carbon sponge, absorbing more carbon as it grows than is released during its harvesting and transportation stages.

As a keen employer and training ground for local youth, Sunshine Sugar welcomes these learning visits and supports the sharing of knowledge about sugar production and the value of the sugar industry to the local business and agricultural community.


Shackells 4

This load of molasses is on its way to Aussie Helpers who will ensure its safe transport to farmers in need.

Aussie Helpers stays in touch with 100’s of farming families to ensure their wellbeing and survival through good and bad times.

Shackell Transport have kindly donated the transport of this precious cargo.

Shackell Transport offers an Australia wide service specialising in bulk liquid haulage. This type of haulage requires purpose designed equipment and extreme care in load handling. Shackell Transport have built their reputation with long term customers for who efficiency and reliability is paramount.

View a short video of the molasses loading on our Instagram page

View a slideshow on the benefits and uses of molasses on our YourTube Channel

CVBE Award.Grant and Dale

Award closeup

Our People Are Our Priority - 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.

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.”

outback sheep

Sunshine Sugar is working with a well respected charity in donating bulk molasses to drought affected farmers across NSW.

If you have any spare bales of trash, grass or hay that you would like to donate, adding to the contribution from our industry here in the rain-blessed Northern Rivers – please let us know and we will assist in collection and distribution to those in need.

Contact Vivien - E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   P: (02) 6640 0467

Low GI First Packs.cropped
Sunshine Sugar’s Low GI Sugar is now ready to hit the shelves around the Northern Rivers, as the first line of the new retail product was produced over the weekend.
A short video can be viewed at:

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.

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