Table of Contents
Forced Labor or Trafficking in Persons cited by U.S. Government
Child Labor cited by U.S. Government
Risk of Forced Labor or Trafficking in Persons cited by other source
Risk of Child Labor cited by other source
Documented presence of migrant workers
Documented presence of other vulnerable workers
Documented presence or significant likelihood of third-party labor recruiters
Large numbers of dispersed, unorganized, or informal small producers or other worksites
Multiple points of aggregation, co-mingling, and/or transformation across supply chain
Complex/opaque supply chains and/or lack of vertical integration
High degree of flexibility in procurement practices of downstream entities
Scale or nature of risk varies significantly based on geographic area of production
Scale or nature of risk is strongly associated with certain types of suppliers/entities
Scale or nature of risk is present across multiple tiers or nodes of supply chain (including in associated downstream or upstream goods)
Approximately 80 percent of global sugar comes from sugarcane. Sugarcane is grown in 100 countries; however, 70 percent of global sugar production comes from just ten of those countries. Only about 30 percent of sugar produced is traded internationally.39A living wage throughout the cane sugar supply chain. Bonsucro, 9 December 2021, bonsucro.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Position-paper-road-map-Living-wage-cane-sugar-supply-chain.pdf.
Cultivation of sugarcane takes place on farms or plantations, where the sugarcane is planted and harvested. Sugarcane can be harvested by hand or by machine; machine harvesting is typical on larger-scale estates with access to capital, while hand harvesting with machetes is more common on smallholder farms and plantations. After the harvest, sugarcane must be quickly transported for processing, as it deteriorates rapidly in this state. At sugar mills, sugarcane is processed and raw sugar is created. Mills often own plantations but will also purchase sugarcane from surrounding small and medium farms. The raw sugar is then transported to refineries. The refining process takes a long time, so sugar refining companies can source their raw sugar from all over the world.40Kiezebrink, Vincent, et al. Bittersweet. Sustainability issues in the sugar cane supply chain. SOMO, December 2015, www.somo.nl/bittersweet/. After sugar has been processed, wholesalers and retailers can sell it.41Child labour in the primary production of sugarcane. International Labour Organization, May 2017, www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_norm/—ipec/documents/publication/wcms_ipec_pub_29635.pdf. Sugar may be sold as consumer sugar, or it may be used in a variety of confectionery products. It is also sold as an ingredient in soft drinks and alcoholic beverages or in ethanol for industrial buyers.42Commodity Atlas. Sugar. Verite, verite.org/project/sugar-3/. On average, around 75 percent of sugarcane is used to produce sugar and around 22 percent to produce ethanol.43Quiroz, Diana, et al. The Sugarcane Value Chain in Latin America and Asia. CNV Internationaal, 5 May 2021, www.profundo.nl/download/cnvi-2106.
Commodity traders are the agents that link upstream and downstream operations.44Child labour in the primary production of sugarcane. International Labour Organization, May 2017, www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_norm/—ipec/documents/publication/wcms_ipec_pub_29635.pdf. Depending on the degree of integration, traders can be involved in the transport, storage, and trade of raw sugar between mills and refineries, nationally and internationally, as well as the trading of refined sugar to buyers. Some traders operate their own mills and refineries.45Child labour in the primary production of sugarcane. International Labour Organization, May 2017, www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_norm/—ipec/documents/publication/wcms_ipec_pub_29635.pdf. Sugar purchasing is highly concentrated: as of 2019, six companies bought a combined share of around seven percent of global sugarcane production.46Quiroz, Diana, et al. The Sugarcane Value Chain in Latin America and Asia. CNV Internationaal, 5 May 2021, www.profundo.nl/download/cnvi-2106.
Sugarcane is used in the production of baked goods and many other types of processed foods. Sugarcane is also used in the production of alcoholic beverages and many other types of processed drinks.