Bundaberg Sugar loses contract to supply Woolworths' brand

SWEET & SOUR: Bundaberg Sugar has lost a Woolworths contract.
SWEET & SOUR: Bundaberg Sugar has lost a Woolworths contract. Max Fleet

BUNDABERG Sugar has lost the contract to supply supermarket giant Woolworths with sugar for its Home Brand line of specialty sugar products.

Bundaberg Sugar confirmed it did not win the tender which was for the specialty line of sugar.

The NewsMail understands this to include caster sugar, brown sugar and icing sugar.

Bundaberg Sugar CEO Ray Hatt said they lost the contract recently.

"We probably had it for a year and it didn't get renewed," Mr Hatt said.

"We tendered for the contract and someone put a better price in.

"It would be nice to say we've got the Woolworths contract for 20 years, but it doesn't work that way.

"We always put our best in - sometimes you get it, sometimes you don't."

Mr Hatt said he believed either Mackay Sugar or Sucrogen won the contract.

Woolworths Limited media relations manager Benedict Brook said Bundaberg sugar had not been "deleted" from Woolworths.

"As well as products under their own brand, Bundaberg Sugar also supplies Woolworths stores with Homebrand sugar products," Mr Brook said.

Bundaberg Sugar holds the Woolworths Home Brand contract for 1kg and 2kg white granulated sugar.

"We put different products out for contract and Bundaberg Sugar doesn't have the other (specialty) contracts at the moment."

Mr Brook said Woolworths was reviewing their entire range of sugar products.

"We are currently undertaking a review of the sugar products we sell to better match our product range with the buying habits of our customers," Mr Brook said.

"Bundaberg Sugar has not been deleted from Woolworths. However, it has not been selling as well as other products ..."

Mr Brook said Woolworths would discuss the matter when its executives met Bundaberg Sugar representatives next month.

The Bundaberg brand is sold in Queensland and Northern Territory Woolworths stores only.

IGA continues to stock Bundaberg Sugar products, while Coles stopped stocking Bundaberg Sugar in 2011.

The company was established in the Rum City in 1882 and is now wholly owned by Belgium-based group Finasucre.

Mr Brook said he could not divulge further details of the contract with Woolworths.

"Details of contract lengths and costs are a commercial matter between Woolworths and our suppliers," he said.

"I'd be uncomfortable discussing the workings of a contract."

Bundaberg Sugar's general manager Guy Basile said he believed the tender would be offered again in July.

When asked whether Bundaberg Sugar would tender for the contract again, Mr Basile said it would.

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