One of the industry’s hallmarks is its technological excellence. The South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI) and the Sugar Milling Research Institute NPC (SMRI) contribute to the industry remaining at the forefront of innovation.

SASRI is the leading sugarcane agricultural research institute in Africa, renowned for its research into the development of new sugarcane varieties and improvement of crop management and farming systems to enhance profitability of the industry.

Effective exchange of new knowledge and delivery of new technology make a significant contribution to the sustainability of the industry. Research is clustered within four multi-disciplinary programmes including variety improvement, crop protection, crop performance and management, and a systems design and optimisation programme. Further detail is provided in the South African Sugar Association section.

The SMRI is the central scientific organisation involved in research work and technical services for the southern African sugar milling and refining industries. All 14 raw sugar factories in South Africa and the central refinery are full members of the SMRI.

The South African Sugar Technologists’ Association (SASTA) promotes the interchange of scientific knowledge and investigation of technical issues related to the production and processing of sugarcane. SASTA also promotes the accuracy and standardisation of factory chemical control methods and assists in improving the technical knowledge of persons engaged in the industry. While research into all aspects of sugarcane agriculture and milling practice is encouraged, an annual congress enables dissemination of new knowledge and assists in skills development.