For more than 100 years, Nordic Sugar has produced sugar and feed products from natural, local raw materials in factories in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Production began with national companies in slightly different periods – from 1850 and onwards – and they have, for the past 15 years, merged and become one of Europe’s leading sugar companies – Nordic Sugar. Nordic Sugar is since 2009 a part of the German-based Nordzucker Group, ranking as Europe’s second largest sugar producer.
The Danish entrepreneur C.F. Tietgen founded Danish Sugar in 1872. He acquired the Phønix Sugar Refinery in Copenhagen, now the headquarters of Nordic Sugar A/S. C.F. Tietgen also founded Danish Distillers, which merged with Danish Sugar and A/S Danisco into Danisco A/S in 1989. In that same year, the group acquired Andelsselskabet Sukkerfabrikken Nykøbing, achiving the position as the only manufacturer of sugar in Denmark.
In 1837, the prominent agriculturist, count N.A. Barck, founded Sweden’s first sugar factory in Malmö. However, the time was not entirely ripe for beet sugar production in Sweden, and it was not until 1854, when Julius Tranchell – who was employed with the refinery in Landskrona – established a beet sugar factory in connection with the refinery that beet sugar production took off – nearly 20 years before the first factory saw the light of day in Denmark. In 1907, 21 Swedish raw sugar factories and 10 refineries teamed up to form Svenska Sockerfabriks AB, SSA, or Sockerbolaget colloquially. Sockerbolaget was the biggest company in Sweden at the time. The last few independent sugar factories joined Sockerbolaget in the 1930s, making Sockerbolaget synonymous with the Swedish sugar industry. At the turn of the year 1992/1993, Nordic Sugar acquired Sockerbolaget in Sweden.
Finland also has a long tradition of manufacturing sugar. Sugar refining was seen as early as in 1758 in Turku. A number of refineries were established in the 19th century, six of which merged into Finska Socker AB in 1918 (Finnsugar LTD). The first beet factory emerged in Salo in 1918, while others came into existence in the 1940s. The beet factories merged with Finska Socker AB in 1980. Finska Socker changed its name to Cultor Ltd in 1989, but continued under the name Finnsugar as the marketing and sales company for sweeteners. In 1990, the company’s sucrose-based sweeteners production merged with Lännen Tehtaat Oy ( today:Apetit Oyj ). In 1999, Finnsugar became part of Nordic Sugar.
Lithuania began growing sugar beets in the mid-1920s. At that time, the beets were processed in Germany and Latvia. Lithuania’s first beet sugar factory, Marijampole, was erected in 1931, and another two factories were established during the 1930s. Beet growing was expanded in Lithuania to meet the needs of the domestic market with locally grown beet. During the Soviet era, the Lithuanian factories imported cane sugar for processing, as stipulated in the command economy plans and international agreements concluded with Cuba, even though it was possible to grow sufficient volumes of sugar beets. Nordic Sugar acquired shares in Lithuania’s four sugar factories in 1998.