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Rabobank gets a taste of NSW sugar industry

Image Caption: Touring the Harwood facility (l-r) Chris Connors – CEO (Sunshine Sugar); Mr David Barraclough – executive director corporate banking (Rabobank); Els Kamphof – wholesale and corporate banking, Australia & New Zealand (Rabobank); Andrew Fischer – cane grower; Jim Sneesby – cane grower and director (Sunshine Sugar); Alex Kelly – corporate banking, food & agribusiness (Rabobank). Image: Contributed.

Executives from major agribusiness bank, Rabobank, toured parts of the NSW Sugar Industry last week. As Sunshine Sugar’s major financier, Rabobank has a keen interest in the current and future state of the business.

CEO of Sunshine Sugar hosted the small group which included a tour of the Harwood Mill and Refinery as well as a visit to local cane farms. Chris Connors, CEO, Sunshine Sugar described the visit as; “A great opportunity to showcase the coal-face of our operations, as well as acquaint our bankers with some of our dedicated staff and growers who make the business run. Rabobank is an important partner – they have supported our business through many ups and downs and remain committed to working with us as we move into the next phase of our journey as a diversified and sustainable agribusiness.”

Head of Wholesale and Corporate Banking, Ms Els Kamphof expressed her appreciation for the scale of the sugar industry in the Northern Rivers based on what she had the opportunity to see this week. Ms Kamphof said; “The end-to-end process of growing the cane through to manufacturing and packing the sugar product is complex, but incredibly well co-ordinated and streamline. What we have seen of the current operation, and what Mr Connors has shared regarding the plans for the future direction of Sunshine Sugar – we are confident that both the Sunshine Sugar business and the sugar industry here in the beautiful northern rivers has a really bright future.”

Rabobank was founded over 100 years ago as a rural co-operative by farmers looking to support each other’s businesses and give rural communities access to fair financing. Today, Rabobank is one of the world’s largest rural lenders.

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