NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Louisiana sugar cane growers and the sugar processing industry are uniting to get the product from the fields to the consumer in a direct line.
Cane growers hope the deal will boost their $2 billion annual industry, which has struggled with flat prices over two decades and major crop-disrupting storms for the past 10 years.
Construction is under way on a $190 million sugar refinery just northwest of New Orleans that will be able to produce 1 million tons of sugar annually.
Under a joint venture plan with growers and refiners, Minneapolis-based Cargill Inc. will be the exclusive marketer of the refinery's industrial sugar used in food processing. Sugar Land, Texas-based Imperial Sugar Co., will market the refinery's bulk sugar.