Sugar Australia
Sugar manufacturer
The Australian sugar industry produces 5.2 million tonnes of raw sugar annually and 85 per cent of this is exported. 75 per cent owned by Wilmar, the world's biggest palm oil trader. Distributes and markets stevia sweetener products under an agreement with GLG Life Tech.

Overall

Owned SGP
Rating C
About the Ratings

Company Ownership

Sugar Australia Pty Ltd
AUS
Wilmar Sugar Australia Ltd
owns 75% of Sugar Australia Pty Ltd
AUS
Sugar
Australia's #1 sugar processor and refiner (#8 globally). Owns and operates eight sugar mills in Queensland, processing more than half of Australia's raw sugar. Australia's largest producer of sugar-based ethanol and renewable energy from biomass. Sold by CSR to Wilmar in July 2010. Previously known as Sucrogen.
Wilmar International Ltd
owns 100% of Wilmar Sugar Australia Ltd
SGP
Agribusiness, especially palm oil
World's #1 palm oil trader. World's #1 palm biodiesel manufacturer. Asia's largest agri-business group. One of the largest plantation companies in Indonesia/Malaysia. Run by Khoon Hong Kuok. Supplies palm oil to multinational companies such as Unilever, Nestle and Cargill. Bought CSR's sugar and renewable energy business in 2010, and Goodman Fielder in 2015.
Kuok Group
owns 30% of Wilmar International Ltd
MYS
Conglomerate
Founded in 1949. Run by Robert Kuok. Interests include shipping, real estate, Shangri-la Hotels, media and agribusiness. They previously controlled 10% of the world's sugar. Affiliated with Wilmar International, the world's biggest palm oil processor. Wilmar is run by Robert Kuok's nephew, Khoon Hong Kuok.
Archer Daniels Midland Company
owns 20% of Wilmar International Ltd
USA
Agribusiness
Turns crops such as corn, oilseeds, wheat and cocoa into food ingredients, animal feeds, and agriculturally derived fuels and chemicals.
Mackay Sugar Ltd
owns 25% of Sugar Australia Pty Ltd
AUS
Sugar manufacturer
One of Australia's largest sugar cane producing and sugar manufacturing companies, owned by 1100 canegrower shareholders and operating four sugar factories in Queensland. Mackay Sugar was formed in 1988 as a co-operative. In 2008 they became a restricted public company. Owns 25% of Sugar Australia. In 2019 Nordzucker acquired a 70% stake.

Company Assessment

Sugar Australia Pty Ltd
Praise
This company received a packaging performance level of 3 (Advanced) in its 2024 APCO Annual Report. Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is a not-for-profit organisation leading the development of a circular economy for packaging in Australia. Each year, APCO Members are required to submit an APCO Annual Report and Action Plan, which includes an overall performance level from 1 (Getting Started) to 5 (Beyond Best Practice).
Source: APCO (2024)
Information
Company retails, manufactures or distributes products that are certified organic under the Australian Certified Organic label.
Source: ACO (2022)
Wilmar Sugar Australia Ltd
Criticism
Between 2013 and 2019 this company paid zero tax on a total income of $9.4 billion, earning the number 23 spot on Michael West's Top 40 Tax Dodgers 2021. West calculated which of Australia's largest companies have paid the least tax, or no tax, on the highest incomes using six years of tax transparency data published by the Australian Tax Office.
Information
According to the democracyforsale.net website, this company donated $43,150 to Australia's major political parties between 2012 and 2018, as disclosed to the Australian Electoral Commision (AEC).
This company is a member of Bonsucro - Better Sugar Cane Initiative, a global non-profit, multi-stakeholder organisation fostering the sustainability of the sugarcane sector through its leading metric-based certification scheme and its support for continuous improvement for members.
Wilmar International Ltd
Praise
The PalmOil Scan app, produced by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), rates companies on their commitment to sourcing sustainable palm oil. Companies are scored on their use of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO), commitment to sourcing CSPO, on-the-ground conservation action, and membership to the RSPO. Companies can earn a rating of Excellent, Good, Poor or No Commitment. This company is rated "Excellent" (retrieved 18 Nov 2023).
Source: WAZA (2023)
The 2024 Social Benchmark assesses the world's 2,000 most influential companies on their responsibility in meeting society's fundamental expectations towards three measurement areas: respecting human rights, providing decent work, and acting ethically. This company was assessed in 2023 and received a score of 14.5/20. The average score was an alarmingly low 4.6/20 and the highest score was 15.5/20.
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change risk. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Climate Change score of B.
Source: CDP (2023)
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts towards removing commodity-driven deforestation and forest degradation from its direct operations and supply chains. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Forests score of B.
Source: CDP (2023)
The 2022 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assessed 127 companies in the food and agriculture, ICT and automotive manufacturing sectors on their human rights performance. This company received a score of 43.5%. The overall average score was a disappointing 17.3% and the highest score was 50.3%.
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to manage and govern freshwater resources. Responding companies are scored on six key metrics: transparency; governance & strategy; measuring & monitoring; risk assessment; targets & goals; and value chain engagement. This company received a CDP Water Security score of B.
Source: CDP (2023)
This company received an S&P Global ESG Score of 75/100 in the Food Products category of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies' sustainability practices (last updated 21 Oct 2022). The rankings are based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, environmental reporting, climate strategy, human rights and labour practices.
The 2023 Food and Agriculture Benchmark assessed 350 keystone companies across the entirety of the food system, from farm to fork. It covers three dimensions where transformation is needed: nutrition, environment and social inclusion. This company ranked #20/350, with a total score of 42.1/100.
Criticism
New research (2014) from Friends of the Earth in Indonesia, Liberia, Uganda and Nigeria, shows how Wilmar International, one of the world's largest palm oil traders, continue their abusive practices of deforestation and land-grabbing, despite promises to stop.
This company sources palm oil from 18 of the 25 dirty palm oil producers identified in the 2018 Greenpeace report "The Final Countdown". Despite announcing a groundbreaking 'no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation' policy in 2013, the report found that Wilmar still gets its palm oil from groups that are destroying rainforests and stealing land from local communities.
This article from German NGO Rainforest Rescue reveals how in Indonesia, people are driven off their land, and the rainforest they depend on to make a living is turned into giant palm oil plantations. Anyone who resists is intimidated, arrested or held at gunpoint. Wilmar's armed security forces have been used repeatedly to silence the people who defend themselves against land grab and violence. Wilmar operates plantations in Sumatra and Borneo that cover up to 600.000 hectares of land, and is notorious for illegal logging and human rights violations.
A civil society coalition is calling on investors and buyers (including this company) of palm oil producer Felda Global Ventures (FGV) to take robust, transparent action to address ongoing risks. This follows the Wall Street Journal's expose of human trafficking, forced labor, withholding of wages and other abuses of workers on FGV's palm plantations in July 2015.
Forest 500 identifies the 350 companies and 150 financial institutions with the greatest exposure to tropical deforestation risk, and annually assesses them on the strength and implementation of their deforestation and human rights commitments. This company received a score of 38.4%.
The Green Supply Chain Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI) evaluates consumer-facing companies that have a sizeable supply chain in China. The evaluation uses government supervision data and public information to assess the environmental management of their supply chains in China. This company received a score of 11.62/100 (retrieved 24 Nov 2023).
Source: IPE (2023)
In 2023 KnowTheChain benchmarked 60 food and beverage companies on their efforts to identify and tackle forced labour risks in their supply chains. This company received a score of 34/100. The average score was a disappointing 16/100 and the highest score was 56/100.
Information
Wilmar, the world's biggest trader in palm oil, is illegally logging rainforests, setting forests on fire and violating the rights of local communities in Indonesia, according to a 2007 report published by Friends of the Earth Netherlands. [Listed under information due to age of report]
A 2016 report by Amnesty International found a range of labour rights abuses on the plantations operated by Wilmar's subsidiaries and suppliers in Indonesia. These abuses include worst forms of child labour, forced labour, discrimination against women workers, people being paid below the minimum wage, and workers suffering injuries from toxic chemicals. [Listed under Information due to age of report]
This company received a score of 22.4/100 in the Newsweek Green Ranking 2017, which ranks the world's largest publicly traded companies on eight indicators covering energy, greenhouse gases, water, waste, fines and penalties, linking executive pay to sustainability targets, board-level committee oversight of environmental issues and third-party audits. Ranking methodology by Corporate Knights and HIP Investor.
This company has signed a letter of intent (https://bit.ly/2rdBlwn) to participate in the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which claims will lift 50 million people in Africa out of poverty by 2022. But according to a 2015 report by ActionAid, the scheme will benefit multinational companies at the expense of small-scale farmers and is likely to increase poverty and inequality in Africa. Launched in 2012, the New Alliance provides aid money from rich countries like the US and the UK, and helps big business invest in the African agricultural sector. But in return, African countries are required to change their land, seed and trade rules in favour of big business. The New Alliance will: Make it easier for big corporations to grab land in Africa: Prevent farmers from breeding, saving and exchanging seeds: Heavily promote chemical fertilisers and pesticides, which increase farmers’ risk of debt as well as damaging the environment and farmers' health: Replace family farms with low paid, insecure jobs; and Prevent countries from restricting crop exports, even at times of domestic shortage.
In Dec 2013 Wilmar announced a No Deforestation Policy in response to years of pressure from Greenpeace, NGOs and consumers around the world. The policy has the potential to transform the controversial palm oil industry, says Greenpeace. Greenpeace are closely monitoring how Wilmar puts these words into action, and are calling on the company to immediately stop buying from companies involved in deforestation.
This company has sustainability claims on its website including responsible plantation management.
This company is a member of Bonsucro - Better Sugar Cane Initiative, a global non-profit, multi-stakeholder organisation fostering the sustainability of the sugarcane sector through its leading metric-based certification scheme and its support for continuous improvement for members.
The 2023 Gender Benchmark ranks 112 companies from the apparel and food and agriculture sectors on their efforts to drive gender equality and women's empowerment across their entire value chain. Companies are assessed on governance and strategy, representation, compensation and benefits, health and well-being, violence and harassment, and marketplace and community. This company ranked #13/112, with a total score of 38.1%. The average score was 23% and the highest score was 55%.
This company is listed on the Facing Finance website as a company that manufactures weapons or profits from violations of human rights, pollution, corruption, or international law. Follow link for further details.
BankTrack is a global network of civil society organisations and individuals tracking the operations of the banking sector and the activities they finance. Banktrack aims to promote fundamental changes in the banking sector so that banks adopt just and sustainable business practices. BankTrack also has profiles on companies, such as this one, which have been the subject of civil society campaigns for damaging the environment or society. Follow the link to see this company's profile.

Company Details

Type:
Joint Venture

Contact Details

Address:
Yarraville, VIC, 3013, Australia
Freecall:
1800 800 329
Website:
www.sugaraustralia.com.au

Products / Brands

Sugar Australia
CSR Topping & Syrup
CSR (sucrose) Sugar & Sweeteners
CSR Golden Syrup Honey