Australia is the second-largest sugar producing nation in the world due to the quality of our cane and the subsequent quantity of produce.

Sugar cane processing is an important contributor both to the Queensland economy and to the Douglas region, where most agricultural land is utilised in sugar production and the industry retains a strong iconic value.

The Mossman Sugar Mill was built in 1894 and has operated continuously since that time.

The mill has a crushing capacity of 1.3Mt of cane and employs 84 full time and 30 seasonal employees. The mill is supplied by approximately 70 farmers via 14 harvester groups and had an annual turnover of $35 million in 2013. 85% of the sugar produced is exported to overseas markets while 15% is packed by the Mossman Bagging Company for domestic consumption. The Mossman Central Mill Company was acquired by Mackay Sugar in 2012.

Due to declining world sugar prices and diminishing land for cane the mill has struggled financially over the past few years however the sugar industry in Douglas can look forward to a burgeoning future after an agreement was reached with Tablelands region to supply an additional 700,000 tonnes cane to the Mossman Mill from 2014. It is expected that a further 20 full-time employment positions will be created in the Shire.

Industry 1994/5 2013 Predicted 2014
Tourism $270 million $561 million $630 million
Cane Processing $50 million $35 million $70 million*
Other (especially aquaculture) $10 million

*agreement with the Tablelands to provide cane for processing from 2014