Ragus: industrial sugar producer leads corporate social responsibility

Opening our world-class, state-of-the-art plant, resource-efficient Berkshire plant in 2012 enabled us to set a new CSR agenda on which we have kept building. The factory is still one of the most technologically advanced of its kind, with a custom-made production line manufacturing a continual supply of high-quality pure sugars and pure syrups.

Resource-efficient sugar production

The factory’s advanced closed system means it is resource efficient. No sugar is disposed of and even powder waste from dust extractors is melted down. Each month we save significant amounts of low Brix liquid sugar that would have been wastage previously.

As part of the design, we selected all equipment with the highest possible resource efficiency specifications. These include: more energy efficient jackets on holding tanks and inversion pans; energy efficient heat exchangers and boilers; intelligent lighting; energy efficient motors and gas-powered forklifts (much of which is designed and installed by UK firms).

The factory also features an onsite weighbridge, so that trucks and tankers do not travel offsite to be weighed, with dedicated holding tanks for incoming tanker products.

Sustainable sugar production

We’ve also put our factory’s suppliers and services under the CSR microscope. As CSR has been part of our business for many years, our suppliers, such as the delivery tanker fleet and laundry supplies, already operate sustainably.

For example, our commercial laundry is managed by an external specialist service provider, capable of efficient water management and the efficient use of chemicals, complying with BRC and HACCP industry standards, and sharing our sustainability goals.

Washing down of equipment is managed with very few chemicals. Since the change to intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), which are collected, refurbished and sent to be reused in other industries by the supplier, our direct usage of cleaning chemicals has declined. Where possible, we avoid single-use plastic in favour of these externally asset-managed reusable containers.

Sugar syrup production using recyclable plastic 

One tonne bags account for the largest percentage of factory waste. These are recycled along with all factory waste except the pads from the filters which go to landfill as diatomaceous earth. Simple steps, such as introducing coloured sampling and decanting buckets, means they can be washed and not thrown away.

All the buckets into which we decant our syrup products are made from polypropylene which is a widely recyclable plastic. They are produced by a supplier whose sustainability policy is consistent with ours. We are investigating reducing our reliance on plastics.

Alongside the factory’s sustainability benefits, the much-increased capacity enables us to deliver a guaranteed supply of sugar products to our customers, including bulk loads of pure sugar products on time and in full.

Contact us to learn more about our CSR and how it underpins the production of brown sugars, molasses, syrups and treacles for food, drink and pharmaceutical brands.