Australian Sugar Industry Production, Processing, Marketing and Sustainability

Australian Sugar Industry Production, Processing, Marketing and Sustainability

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Sugarcane is the most widely produced agricultural commodity in the world. In 2011, Brazil alone produced over 700 million tonnes of sugarcane eclipsing the second highest producer, India, by close to 400 million tonnes (Queensland Sugar Limited [QSL], 2011). The sugarcane industry has developed rapidly in recent years and is now adapting to a new concept, sustainable development. This has been a welcome change, because in the past, sustainable development was widely viewed as an unachievable ideal rather than a practical basis for production. However, most attempts to enact sustainable development have been “reactive, technocratic and localised” (Drummond, 1996). This essay critically analyses and evaluates the inputs and outputs of sugarcane production, factors that influence the value of key components of the sugarcane industry, and the overall sustainability of the sugarcane agro-ecological system.

Inputs and Outputs
Below, Figure 1 shows the complete sugarcane production process and highlights the key inputs and outputs involved. Sugarcane is an intensive crop requiring high inputs of natural resources, particularly fossil fuels and irrigation water, in order for it to be cultivated effectively. The cultivation of sugarcane requires numerous different inputs; the most predominant are irrigation water, fuel and machinery, and fertilisers (Karimi, Rajabi Pour, Tabatabaeefar, & Borghei, 2008). Whilst raw sugar is the main output, other outputs of increasing significance include energy and ethanol. Swapped below and figure 1 around, removed and moved comma placement, removed the inputs from sentence 3, we already established we were talking about inputs don’t repeat)
In a number of countries around t...

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Products and Services: We're a One Stop Shop. (2014). Retrieved from

Sugar beet production in tonnes as at 2011. (2011). on line: FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS. Sourced from

Top 10 sugar producing nations as at 2011. (2011). on line: FOOD AND ​AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS. Sourced from

Young, J. E. (2008). IFPRI Forum: Speculation and World Food Markets (pp. 1, 9-​12). on line: International Food Policy Research Institute and its 2020 Vision Initiative. Retrieved from


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