Colonial Sugar Refining Company (Fiji)

Colonial Sugar Refining Company (Fiji)

Colonial Sugar Refining Company (Fiji)

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The Colonial Sugar Refining Company (CSR) began operations in Fiji in 1880 and until it ceased operations in 1973, had a considerable influence on the political and economic life of Fiji. Prior to its expansion to Fiji, the CSR was operating Sugar Refineries in Melbourne and Auckland. The decision to enter into the production of raw sugar and sugar cane plantation was due to the Company's desire to shield itself from fluctuations in the price of raw sugar needed to run its refining operations. In May 1880 Fiji's Colonial Secretary John Bates Thurston persuaded the Colonial Sugar Refining Company to extend their operations into Fiji by making available 2,000 acres (8 kmĀ²) of land to establish plantations.

CSR Mills in Fiji

Sugar production had started in Fiji with the collapse of the cotton price in early 1870s. Many small sugar mills were established but these were badly managed and not profitable. During the period of low sugar prices in the 1890s, most of these mills closed, leaving only four mills in operation in Fiji at the turn of the century. CSR's first Mill in Fiji started crushing sugar cane in Nausori in 1882. Another mill was built at Viria and crushed from 1886 to 1895. It was closed because it was too small to be viable. The Chalmers brothers built the Penang Mill in 1880 and sold it to Melbourne Trust Company in 1896. The mill was enlarged (with machinery from Mago Island (where a mill had closed in 1895) and the increased crushing capacity together with...
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