A BOUTIQUE distillery, cane juice and a new type of Low-GI sugar are on the cards for the North Coast's sugar industry next year, as it starts to reduce its dependence on traditional sugar.
It has been a tough season for sugar mills in 2017, with "catastrophic” damage following ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, and more damaging rain in November.
Sunshine Sugar CEO Chris Connors said he is hoping the expansion and diversification of the company will help stabilise the industry.
"We have a cohesive industry and sound business model here in NSW, and we will be looking to build on that by reducing our dependence on traditional crystal sugar,” Mr Connors said.
While reflecting on the year that is gone, Mr Connors commented on the resilience of the company and the brand new crops that are delivering during the wettest conditions in over 50 years.
Even with these unpredictable weather forecasts, Sunshine Sugar reported that "all-in-all” their three mills performed solidly throughout the season, with total cane crushed estimated at just under 1.9 million tonnes.
The outlook for 2018 is looking at a similar tonnage, however the industry is hopeful for more stable weather making production and harvest considerably easier.
"From a crop perspective, we will continue work to retain productive cane land that has come under competition from other horticulture crops over recent years,” Mr Connors said.
"Hand in hand with this, we will be continuing to focus on increasing our productivity through improved harvesting gains and further improvements in yield.”
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December 21, 2017 at 11:02AM
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