Article – SunRice wants to grow Australian rice production and buys mill in Northern Australia

by 18 November 2014

12 November 2014
Warwick Long
ABC Rural

Australia’s largest rice processor has completed a multi-million-dollar move into northern Australia.

SunRice’s $4.5 million purchase of the Blue Ribbon Group’s rice mill and assets in the Burdekin region near Townsville has just been given approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

CEO Rob Gordon says the company wants more Australian grown rice and Northern Australia has the water to do it.

“We see the potential, particularly given the water security in that part of the world to grow a more substantial industry,” he said.

“It (the Burdekin Region) only produces a few thousand tonnes per year whereas, in the Riverin,a we produce upwards of a million tonnes a year.”

Many in the rice industry have spoken about the potential for expansion in northern Australia, but so far it has failed to materialise.

SunRice hopes this purchase might be the start of something bigger.

“We do see this as being a first foothold in the north.

“We are going to bring quite considerable capability that the group has with regard to growing different varieties that are suited to different conditions to grow rice around the Burdekin region.

“If that’s successful, there is no reason why we can’t roll that out further.”

SunRice Coleambally rice mill in New South Wales

Courtesy of ABC Rural

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