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Harvesting of the latest sugarcane crops has begun in South Africa – the 2021 sugar season is underway. This multi-billion rand industry is a massive contributor to the national economy and provides jobs and income opportunities for around 350 000 South Africans. There are about 22 000 registered sugarcane growers in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. These figures show how vital this industry is to the well-being of the country.

Custom Bulk Bags (CBB) has an important role to play in the sugar sector. Our products are used by many of the milling companies that process sugarcane into sugar – bulk bags are used to store and transport the raw or refined sugar, as well as the byproducts (animal feed) from the mills. The customisability of our bags means that we can meet the exact needs of the client and improve the efficiency of the sector.

Sugar on a teaspoon

South African sugar industry

South Africa has one of the world’s most cost-competitive sugar industries for high-quality sugar. The entire industry produces around 2.2-million tonnes of sugar every year. Most of this is sold locally or in neighbouring Southern African countries, but about 40% is exported to Asia and the Middle East.

CBB provides bulk bags to two of the country’s biggest sugar companies – Tongaat Hulett and Illovo. Tongaat Hulett has been growing and milling sugarcane since 1854 while Illovo can trace its corporate roots back to 1891. For over 160 years, the South African sugar sector has been developing and expanding. In most regions of the country, it takes between 12 and 15 months for a crop to reach maturity and harvesting runs from March to December annually.

Sugarcane plantation

Contributing to the sugar sector

CBB adheres to strict management protocols and processes to ensure that our bulk bags are strong, reliable and durable. We are a Level 3 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) contributor and hold an ISO 9001 certification. “We have the best BEE status amongst bulk bag manufacturers in South Africa,” explains CBB general manager Chris Byram.

This contribution not only brings many benefits to our partners, suppliers and buyers, but it also improves the livelihoods of South Africans that work in the sugar sector. We provide job security and continuous improvement through training and education for our employees. Industry transformation is an important part of growth and development, so we try to play our part where possible.

White and brown sugar from packets

In addition, CBB strives for exceptional customer service and quality. “We are the only corporate entity that manufactures and supplies bulk bags in South Africa. Our backing from Deneb Investments ensures that we can meet client needs and guarantee exceptional service delivery. This sets us apart from other bulk bag companies and allows us to look after our clients’ interests above all else,” says Byram.

CBB manufactures and supplies high-quality bulk bags to a number of businesses in the sugar sector. Our bags have a minimum 5:1 safety factor, which means that they can safely carry up to five times their intended load. Please contact us today for information on our world-class products or to get a quote from Custom Bulk Bags that will meet your needs.


Custom Bulk Bags is a South African manufacturer of woven polypropylene bags for various industries, such as mining, chemicals and food. We are able to produce over 3.5-million bulk bags per year, keeping our customers in stock at all times. Our bags adhere to the highest levels of quality as a result of our stringent in-house testing and quality control programmes.

Custom Bulk Bags holds ISO 9001 certification and we currently have a number of UN-certified designs. We are a Level 3 B-BBEE manufacturer and supplier and fall under the ownership structure of Deneb Investments Limited. For more information on our products, contact Follow us on Facebook for our latest news and industry insights.