December 6, 2022, marked the 125th anniversary of Amalgamated Sugar Company. Over those 125 years, the Company has become one of the country’s best sugarbeet processors, with achievements that have grown in significance. In recent years, Amalgamated Sugar has set multiple Company records in both the agricultural and operations sides of its business. “We are not a Company to rest on our laurels,” said John McCreedy, President & CEO. “We often celebrate an achievement by starting work on our next goal. However, part of our future means reflecting on our history and how far the Company has come.”
Amalgamated Sugar produces sugar from sugarbeets grown by its 700+ cooperative members, who raise sugarbeets on approximately 180,000 acres in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Sugarbeet processing occurs at three factories across southern Idaho: Twin Falls, Paul, and Nampa. The oldest of Amalgamated Sugar’s factories still in operation is in Twin Falls, built in 1916. The Paul factory, now called the Mini-Cassia factory, was built in 1917. Though this factory experienced some hardships in its early years, it is now the largest sugarbeet processing facility in the world. The Nampa factory was built in 1942 and is the only sugar mill built during WWII. “I like to compare our factories to rebuilt classic cars,” said McCreedy. “They may look old on the surface, but when you pop the hood, you see a very modern and powerful engine.”
Sugarbeet factories are large-scale, heavy industrial facilities. Operating 24/7, the factories process sugarbeets during the fall and winter, produce sugar 11 months per year and run molasses separators year-round. Sugarbeets are processed into both refined sugar and animal feed products. Approximately 2.2 billion pounds of sugar are produced at these facilities each year. Amalgamated Sugar is the second-largest manufacturer of sugar from sugarbeets in the United States. The sugarbeet industry contributes 1.7% of Idaho’s Gross State Product.
Amalgamated Sugar provides high-quality jobs and stability to many families and individuals. The Company offers competitive wages and excellent employee benefits, including medical, retirement savings, paid time off, and educational reimbursement. There are currently over 1,700 people employed companywide. “Generations of employees have developed their careers with our Company,” said McCreedy. “We are building our future from this strong foundation.”
Amalgamated Sugar’s growth in the past 125 years would not be possible without extremely committed growers. For over a century, sugarbeets have been a significant crop across the region. This commitment to sugar farming led to a pivotal moment in Amalgamated Sugar’s history. In 1997, the sugarbeet growers formed the Snake River Sugar Company to purchase The Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC. Since then, the Company has operated with a cooperative structure. In 2021, the two entities combined to create Amalgamated Sugar Company, an agricultural cooperative. “Our growers are the backbone of Amalgamated Sugar, and their commitment to innovation and producing more sugar per acre using fewer inputs makes them industry leaders,” said Mike Garner, Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors.
Amalgamated Sugar is a proud community supporter in the Company’s operating and growing areas. They offer sugar donations, sponsor charitable events, and provide multiple opportunities for employees to volunteer. Each year, Amalgamated Sugar donates over 86,000 pounds of sugar to local food banks, senior centers, and other organizations that aim to end hunger. The Company also partners with organizations that benefit youth, STEM education, health & nutrition, and agriculture. “We are proud to support our growers, the agricultural industry, and the customers and communities we serve,” said McCreedy.
The Company has found ways to partner its philanthropic efforts with operational goals. The President’s Safety Award is a program in which, upon reaching safety milestones at a factory, Amalgamated Sugar will donate to the charitable organization of that factory’s choice. So far, the program has made $27,500 in contributions to charities such as Make-A-Wish Idaho, Habitat for Humanity Magic Valley, and The Idaho Foodbank. Factory employees work hard to achieve safe work practices and are proud to make donations to organizations critical to their local communities. “The President’s Safety Award program shows that safety isn’t just about the workplace,” said McCreedy. “It’s about community partnership and connecting with people who need support.”
Amalgamated Sugar has over a century of heritage that will continue to lead to a bright future. “What sets Amalgamated Sugar apart from other companies is that we have been built on generations of strong people focused on innovation,” said McCreedy. Chairman Mike Garner agreed, saying, “Every good Company says people are the difference between success and failure. While we can look at financials and operational records to tell our story, our innovative, persistent, and committed growers and employees are what will keep our Company strong for another 125 years.”
Amalgamated Sugar Timeline
- 1897 – The Ogden Sugar Company was incorporated in Ogden, Utah, with a plant built the following year.
- 1902 – Ogden Sugar and Logan Sugar consolidated to form Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC. Four days later, Amalgamated Sugar acquired the Oregon Sugar Company and became The Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC.
- 1916 – Amalgamated Sugar constructs a new factory in Twin Falls, Idaho. This facility is the oldest of the Company’s factories, still in operation today.
- 1917 – Another factory is built in Paul, Idaho, and begins operation. This factory is known as the Mini-Cassia factory and is still in operation today.
- 1934 – Amalgamated Sugar acquires the White Satin trademark to use in marketing its sugar.
- 1942 – The Nampa, Idaho factory is built and begins operations.
- 1990 – Amalgamated Sugar is recognized as the second-largest sugar beet refiner in the United States.
- 1997 – Sugarbeet growers come together to form the Snake River Sugar Company (a cooperative) to buy and operate Amalgamated Sugar.
- 2021 – Snake River Sugar Company and The Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC combine to create one grower-owned cooperative, now called Amalgamated Sugar Company.
- 2022 – Today, Amalgamated Sugar processes sugarbeets grown on 180,000 acres in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington and produces 2.2 billion pounds of sugar each year.