Sugar as a commodity in its own right can be traced back several thousand years in China and India. A definite reference dates to 510 B.C. when soldiers of the Persian Emperor, Darius, saw sugar cane growing on the banks of the Indus River. They referred to it the "reeds" which produce honey without bees.
Much later, it was grown in Persia and was transported to Egypt by the Arabs. The word sugar is itself derived from the Arabic word "sukkar".
Sugar cane, to which all the earliest references refer, is a member of the grass family. It can grow up to 15 feet tall, with leaves at the top and a hollow stalk filled with a sweet juice or sap from which sugar is extracted. A perennial tropical plant, it grows best in very warm climates and is ready for harvesting after 10 to 20 months.
Alexander the Great (356-232 B.C) introduced sugar to the Mediterranean countries, from whence it spread down the East coast of Africa.
About 4 million hectares of land in India is under sugar cane with an average yield of 70 tonnes / hectare.
India is the only major producer of sugar including traditional cane sugar sweeteners, Khandsari (*raw sugar) and Gur (jaggery) equaling 26 million tonnes of raw value, with Brazil coming a close second with 18.5 million tonnes.
India is the largest sugar producer in 7 out of 10 years. There are 453 working sugar factories in India.
India has the second largest cane production area in the world.
Since the year 1970, Gill & Co, has been playing an imported
role in the Indian sugar industry. With its head office in Mumbai, the
company's focus on sourcing different varieties of high quality gives
it the expertise to understand its producers' needs and consumer requirements.
The Company exports as well as imports sugars and represents renowned mills and multinational and also acts as an agent for Government agencies. Some of the well known producers of sugar that Gill & Co. interacts with the Maharashtra Co-operative Sugar Factories Federation, U.P. State Co-operative Sugar Factories Federation and a multitude of well-known private mills in South India.