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How bulk sugar suppliers can deliver added value

26/11/2020 By Frank O’Kelly in What we do Manufacturing, Sourcing, Supply chain

Established in 1928 by Charles Eastick, the inventor of golden syrup, Ragus today is a leading bulk sugar supplier across the globe, with key customer bases in the UK and Europe. So, in this blog, we will explain how we deliver added value throughout each tier of our sugar supply chains.

Responsible organisations recognise that sourcing is a reciprocal relationship

Responsible sourcing of primary production materials is the first stage in Ragus’ sugar supply chains. Our primary sugars are sourced from both cane sugar and beet sugar suppliers because the raw materials have subtly different natural properties, which means they can be manufactured into different pure sugar products.

As sugar cane can only be grown in hot, tropical climates, our cane sugar suppliers are located in Africa, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. Sugar beet, on the other hand, can be only be grown in temperate conditions, such as in the UK, Europe and the USA. As a result, we typically source our beet sugar from Europe.

With cane sugar, the raw cane is harvested and then partially refined into raw sugar, with the option of further refining into white sugar, whereas beet sugar is processed directly into white sugar. In both cases, the raw materials are either refined or processed in their local region before they are sourced as our primary production materials.

To ensure our suppliers meet our standards, we regularly visit them in person to audit their growing and processing practices. Of course, an integral part of these audits concerns transparency and sustainability. By visiting our partners on-site, we can see first-hand whether their sugar is grown and processed ethically.

But another part of these assessments involves consulting suppliers on their refining and processing procedures. In turn, this helps us source better quality primary sugars that we can manufacture into high-quality pure sugar products.

Visiting our partners in person. 

Specialist manufacturers treat production as a service, not a process

Once the primary production materials have been ethically sourced and transported to our world-class production facility in Berkshire, we can use them in our manufacturing processes. Our production facility was purpose-built and opened in 2013, with its custom-engineered machinery enabling us to manufacture in bulk.

In the sugar industry, the term ‘bulk’ is typically a reference to tonnes of product that are produced industrially. Manufacturing at this scale requires specialist knowledge of sugar formulations and technical procedures, combined with the most advanced machinery to carry out these chemical processes, all conducted in accordance with the latest manufacturing standards. Fortunately, Ragus has honed its expertise as a bulk sugar supplier over the past 90 years and uses this knowledge in conjunction with modern technology and processes.

Bulk sugar manufacturing at our industry-leading production facility.

Bulk manufacturing at our industry-leading production facility. 

In terms of our services, we produce 12 core pure sugar products that fall into four specific categories: crystallines, syrups, treacles and custom formulations. This is a key difference between Ragus and other sugar suppliers – we transform raw sugars and refined white sugars into added value pure sugars that help our customers enhance product quality and production performance. See examples below of a pure sugar product from each category:

Crystallines: demerara sugar
Syrups: invert sugar syrup
Treacles: black treacle
Custom formulations: brewing sugar

Examples of sugar from each category; crystallines: demerara sugar, syrups: invert sugar syrup, treacles: black treacle, and custom formulations: brewing sugar.

Left to right: demerara sugar, invert sugar syrup, black treacle, brewing sugar.  

Each pure sugar product has a different taste, texture and appearance that produces distinct results in different applications, with the products used in a variety of markets, such as baking, beverages and pharmaceuticals. At Ragus, our extensive sugar expertise can also be called upon by customers to find the ideal pure sugar for their application, and we can tailor our formulations to the requirements of their specific production process.

Reliable bulk sugar suppliers deliver on-time and in-full

The key measures that many customers assess bulk sugar suppliers on are packaging, distribution and delivery. Of course, the type of packaging depends on the product being delivered. For a syrup, for example, we deliver the finished product in bulk tankers, intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) and 25kg pails. Whereas for a crystalline, the product is packaged in 25kg paper sacks or 1000kg big bags.

Ragus truck delivering a bulk sugar order.

Delivering the finished product.

While we deliver added value throughout the supply chain, we believe our distribution services differentiate us from other sugar manufacturers. At Ragus, for example, we deliver the finished product to customer-specific schedules, using the latest technologies to ensure all orders are delivered on-time and in-full. As a result of these efforts, we have achieved industry-leading delivery performance standards.

Furthermore, we appreciate that continuity of supply is more important to our customers than ever before. Our customer services team understands these delivery turnaround challenges, particularly in the current climate, and will work around them to help our customers meet their business objectives.

Ragus has over 90 years’ experience sourcing, manufacturing and delivering pure sugars in bulk. To learn more about our products, please contact our Customer Services Team. To see more sugar news and updates, continue browsing SUGARTALK and follow Ragus on LinkedIn. 

Frank O’Kelly

Frank is the primary contact for many of our largest customers.

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