Monitoring the scope and benefits of Fairtrade: Sugar – Monitoring report, 10th Edition

Published: 6 Sep 2019


The global sugar industry is vast and complex. Around 80 percent of the world’s sugar is derived from sugarcane. It is grown by millions of small-scale farmers and plantation workers in developing countries before entering the sugarcane supply chain, which comprises factories/mills, refiners, wholesalers, traders and retailers. The role of the small-scale farmers is generally limited to the first link in the chain when they deliver their cane to the mill.

Despite holding plots of as little as just a few hectares, small-scale sugarcane farmers are important economic drivers in their rural communities. However, their position in the sugar supply chain remains very vulnerable.

Fairtrade Standards are open to certified small sugarcane producer organizations that are owned and governed by their members. Fairtrade sugar farms are present in 19 countries and represent nearly 55,000 farmers and 99 producer organizations. In 2017, sugar producer organizations received nearly €12 million in Fairtrade Premium funds, an increase of 27 percent over the previous year.