Sugar Cane

Paraguay; Since 2001

THE SUPPLIER

We source our Community Fair Trade cane sugar from the Montillo Cooperative in Paraguay. The Montillo Cooperative was formed in 1995 by 37 small-scale farmers, in a region known as the world’s “Cradle of Organic Sugar”. They became Fair Trade-certified in 1998, and have now grown to 385 members. Our trade helps them gain technical assistance and better trading conditions for their produce, improving production, and access credit.

THE COMMUNITY

Our trade also helps create vital employment on the farms and in the processing factories outside cities in Paraguay. This gives local people the option of remaining in the community rather than leaving in search of employment.

THE PROCESS

The cane is fast growing, with the main harvest taking place in the winter months (May – December), when the sugar is most concentrated in the cane. On average a farmer can cut 1,000 kilos of cane a day, each one reaching heights of 3 metres. It is then transported by bullock cart, to the collection points to be weighed before being taken to the sugar mill for processing. After the harvest, farmers grind the cane to release the juice, which is boiled, reduced to a syrup, then crystallised and sieved to produce the high quality sugar we use in our products.

Summary

Who?

Farmers

Where?

Paraguay

Why?

Our trade provides small farmers in rural areas with much-needed income to pay for basics like transport to send children to school

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