Our 70th Anniversary
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Our70th Anniversary

The SunRice Group celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2020

From humble beginnings in 1950 when a group of Australian rice growers pooled their resources to build a mill and create Ricegrowers’ Co-operative Limited, the SunRice Group is now a truly international fast moving consumer goods and global rice food business with a tremendous reputation.

  • 1880s

    Introduction of rice seed into Australian gold fields by Chinese prospectors.

  • 1900

  • The Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA Scheme) is launched and Japanese ex-parliamentarian, Isaburo (Jo) Takasuka begins rice cultivation near Swan Hill.

  • 1920s

    The Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area Ricegrowers’ Co-operative Society and rice industry infrastructure are established. The Rice Marketing Board for the State of New South Wales (RMB) is later formed in 1928.

  • 1950

  • The Ricegrowers’ Association (RGA) Central Executive forms the Ricegrowers’ Co-operative Mills Limited (hereafter, RCM), which would later become RCL and then SunRice.

  • 1950s

    Mills are built at Leeton and at other sites across the Riverina and Murray regions, and the Co-operative launches its own branded retail pack of Sunwhite rice.

  • 1960s

    Coleambally Mill is built.

  • 1970s

    Deniliquin Mill is built.

  • 1970

    Rice Growers Australia Limited, which later became Trukai Industries Limited, is established in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to extend markets for Riverina rice.

  • 1977

    CopRice is acquired to process and sell rice milling by-products.

  • 1980s

    Some RMB and RCM functions are amalgamated and RCM is now known as Ricegrowers’ Co-operative Limited (RCL). RCL begins a program of diversification towards value added products, including rice cakes, rice bran and horticultural products.

  • Rice Research Australia Pty Ltd (RRAPL) is established for the purposes of carrying out rice research and development and a Rice Cakes Plant is built at Leeton to manufacture value added rice products.

  • 1990s

    • Solomons Rice Company Limited (SolRice) is aquired to further expand markets for Riverina rice. A second mill opens in Deniliquin for brown rice only, which is later upgraded to a brown and white rice mill.

    • A new speciality rice variety, Koshihikari, is successfully developed and launched for the Japanese rice market.

  • 1993

    Riviana Foods is aquired to diversify RCL’s investment portfolio, including non-rice products.

  • 2000s

    • Solomons Rice Company Limited (SolRice) is aquired to further expand markets for Riverina rice. A second mill opens in Deniliquin for brown rice only, which is later upgraded to a brown and white rice mill.

      SunRice diversifies its business portfolio and global sourcing program to ensure continued growth and prosperity, including new rice flour, snacks, microwave rice and ready-to-go meal offerings.

    • Aqaba Processing Company is established to service markets into Jordan. A majority shareholding in SunFoods is acquired in the U.S. to diversify rice supply in times of drought, with the remaining share later acquired in 2016. SunRice also acquires the paddy storage facilities from RMB, increasing vertical integration and facilitating whole of supply chain management.

    • 2001

      CY01 sees a record 1.8 million tonnes of paddy rice harvested, SunRice’s biggest rice crop in history.

    • 2005

      Growers vote to change the co-operative’s structure. RCL registers as a company in 2005 and changes its name to Ricegrowers Limited. It later lists on the NSX in 2007.

  • 2008

    • Off the back of the Millennium Drought, the CY08 harvest is just over 19,000 tonnes of paddy rice, a record low.

    • Coleambally and Deniliquin Mills are placed into care and maintenance during 2007 with significant job losses. SunRice recovered in subsequent years with Deniliquin Mill reopening in 2010.

  • 2010s

  • Brandon Mill in North Queensland is aquired to supplement supply of Riverina rice. Ricegrowers Singapore Pte Ltd is incorporated to extend markets and global sourcing capabilities across Asia.

  • 2010

    In CY10, growers achieve an average yield of 11 tonnes per hectare for the first time.

  • 2011

    CY11 sees harvest tonnages rebound to 800,000 tonnes of paddy rice.

  • 2012

    SunRice hits$1 billionin turnover in FY2012

  • 2016

    Riviana Foods acquires Fehlbergs Fine Foods.

  • 2017

    SunRice becomes a member of the UN Global Compact Network Australia.

  • 2018

    A and B Class shareholders vote to list SunRice on the ASX in 2018, with the company being admitted to the Official List of ASX in 2019.

    Riviana Foods acquires Roza’s Gourmet. SunRice acquires a rice processing mill in Dong Thap Province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

  • 2019

    CopRice acquires the assets of Australian rice bran manufacturer FeedRite to expand its pet food capabilities. A $10 million stabilised bran processing plant opens in Leeton to benefit the CopRice and Rice Food segments.

2020

SunRice celebrates
70 years.