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Ourstory

2200 employees. 50 countries. 30 brands. 11 businesses. Together, we’re SunRice.

SunRice is one of the largest rice food companies in the world and one of Australia's leading branded food exporters.

Japanese origins


Authentic Japanese Heritage

Jō Takasuka, accompanied by his wife, Ichi, arrived in Melbourne in 1905 from Japan.

Within 18 months, Takasuka had moved to Nyah, Victoria, sowed 35 acres (14ha) of Japanese rice grain on land rented from a local farmer, and entered into negotiations with the Victorian government to acquire a suitable allotment of crown land subject to annual flooding on which to cultivate rice.

Takasuka persevered through floods and droughts to finally produce rice for commercial sale. His first success was in 1911 when test-plots on his property were harvested. Using these seeds, he grew rice successfully on small parcels of rented land for the next three seasons.

In 1914, the Victorian government allocated 200 acres (81ha) of flood-prone land on the Murray River near Swan Hill to Takasuka for the purpose of demonstrating the cultivation of rice from Japan. He sold the first successful crop of seed back to the government and inspired the formation of the Australian rice industry.

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1850 Likely introduction of rice seed into Australian goldfields by Chinese prospectors. 1891 NSW Department of Agriculture begins trials of "upland" rice varieties in northern NSW. 1906 Japanese ex-parliamentarian, Isaburo (Jō) Takasuka, begins rice cultivation near Swan Hill, Victoria, using Japanese (Japonica) varieties. 1914 Jo Takasuka grows the first commercial rice crop in south eastern Australia. 1924 "Japonica" seed varieties are offered to farmers, establishing large volume exports of Australian rice to Japan. 1928 The Rice Marketing Board for NSW commences operations. Its role is to receive and store paddy, negotiate with millers on price. 1932 - 34 Rice mills are built at Murrami, Yenda and Griffith, NSW. 1950 The central executive of the Ricegrowers Association forms a new co-operative - Rice Growers Co-operative Mills Limited. 1955 The Co-operative launches its own branded retail pack of "Sunwhite Rice." 1968 The Co-operative builds a rice mill at Coleambally, NSW. 1970 The Co-operative builds a rice mill at Deniliquin – the largest milling complex in the Southern Hemisphere. 1985 Rice Growers Co-operative Mills Limited and the Rice Marketing Board for NSW undergo a functional merger to become Ricegrowers’ Co-operative Limited. 1986 Rice Growers Co-operative Mills Limited and the Rice Marketing Board for NSW undergo a functional merger to become Ricegrowers’ Co-operative Limited. 1990 New SunRice “Sculptures” advertising campaign wins major Australian and international advertising awards, increasing domestic rice consumption by 17%. 1994 Second mill opens in Deniliquin for brown rice only, later upgraded to a brown and white rice mill. 1995-97 "SunRice" a joint venture company between Rice Growers Co-operative limited and a Japanese rice milling company successfully launch a new specialty rice variety developed at Yanco for the Japanese rice market – Koshihikari. 2000-2014 A decade of debilitating drought sees SunRice diversifying its business portfolio and global sourcing program to ensure continued growth and prosperity of the business, including rice flour, snacks, microwave rice and ready-to-go meals. Present Purchases Blue Ribbon Rice Group’s North Queensland mill and related assets at Brandon. See the timeline

Our History


Our proud history dates back to the establishment of a single rice mill in the Riverina region of New South Wales in 1950. Today we have operations – including state-of-the-art processing, packing and value added food plants - across Australia, the USA, the Middle East, the Pacific and Papua New Guinea.

We supply almost 50 countries with diverse, innovative and nutritious rice food products, and through our successful food ingredients and foodservice divisions, contribute to thousands of other brands and businesses the world over. We’re a major player in the domestic market as well, supplying a staple food for households around Australia.

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We’re SunRice Innovative Dynamic Australian owned Globally focused

Our Brands


Our company was built by the Australian rice industry over many decades, and today it’s strengthened by a broad portfolio of subsidiary and complementary businesses.

We’re an Australian supermarket leader in olives, condiments and more, through Riviana Foods and their “Always Fresh” flagship brand. We’re a major business in Papua New Guinea, where Trukai Industries employs more than 1,000 people and has operated for more than 40 years. We’re the preferred rice supplier of tens of millions of people in the Middle East where we have a marketing office in Dubai. We have a base in Singapore that provides us with a regional presence and proximity to service the burgeoning markets of South East Asia and China. And we’re part of the convenience rice foods market in America, where our SunFoods’ Hinode brand can be found in retail giants like Walmart and Kroger.

Added to this, is our enviable position in the pet and livestock industries via our animal feeds division CopRice; our own dedicated rice research company; Solomon Islands’ operation; and sophisticated local grain storage network.

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Our Vision


SunRice is a dynamic rice food company with a vision to become the World’s Favourite Rice Food Company. Through innovation, initiative and operating excellence SunRice develops great tasting and nutritious foods that excite and satisfy consumers all over the world.

Our Corporate Goals
To deliver unbeatable products and services
To have leadership that inspires and rewards excellence
To have winning business relationships
To grow through imagination and audacity
To understand our responsibility to achieve financial targets
To have simple and effective systems and processes
To be responsible corporate citizens

Our Corporate Values
Integrity in all we do
Passion for the business
Learning and its rapid conversion to action
Single-minded commitment to achieve our stated goals

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Our Story


SunRice has had a long association with Australian agriculture and the land. It formed in 1950 when early rice growers pooled funds to establish a co-operative and built a much-needed rice mill at Leeton in the Riverina. In 1955, the co-operative launched its own branded retail pack of 'Sunwhite' rice.

It was the first time that nutritional value and product quality and consistency were emphasised in the marketing of Australian rice. Decades of research and adoption of new technology followed, with SunRice manufacturing an ever-growing and innovative range of new products from rice and rice by-products.

As in most industrialised countries, the potato was the historic staple carbohydrate in Australia. Rice was traditionally seen as an accompaniment to dishes such as curry, and perhaps as an occasional dessert.

The great opportunity for SunRice came in the 1970s when migration from Asia to Australia was significant and the cuisines available in Australian cities changed almost overnight. Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean restaurants appeared, featuring rice as the main carbohydrate. Suddenly Asian food was very fashionable.

As Australia became more cosmopolitan, Australians grew increasingly interested in cooking Asian and other ethnic foods at home, leading to a new market for rice.

The famous 'Rice Sculptures' advertising campaign by SunRice, which won major Australian and international advertising awards for its unique, creative and innovative promotion of rice health benefits, helped increase rice consumption in Australia.

With a long tradition of co-operation and growth, SunRice is now one of the biggest branded rice food companies in the world, and an Australian icon.

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