Here are some the studies we have published. They are free to download and circulate.
Sugarcane in Punjab Pakistan Based on fieldwork undertaken during his doctoral research Muhammad Tayyab Safdar explores the way sugarcane is grown and processed in the Punjab region of Pakistan. It pays particular attention to the political economy of the sugar industry and the problematic impacts this has had on the livelihood’s of cane farmers and the availability of water in the area.
Ethical Sugar Guide to Bonsucro This is a guide to Bonsucro, an organisation that seeks to improve the sustainability of global sugarcane production. It is targeted at trade unions, NGOs and civil society associations wanting to know more about Bonsucro and how they might get involved. The guide is also available in Portuguese.
The Politics of Fairtrade Sugar in Belize Based on fieldwork undertaken in Belize as part of a doctoral thesis on sugar industry adaptation, this report asks about the difference Fairtrade certification has made to the livelihoods of the country’s 6,000 cane farmers. While Fairtrade brings benefits, it concludes that they are insufficient in stabilising precarious livelihoods when understood in their broader economic context.
Sugarcane and the Global Land Grab The rapid increase in land enclosed for the production of sugarcane has become characterised as part of the ‘global land grab’, especially where the investments are seen to flout the principle of ’free, prior and informed consent’ of the affected land users. This report looks at case studies in Cambodia, Indonesia, Kenya and Sierra Leone to reveal the range of problems associated with the conversion of land to cane.
Sugarcane and Child Labour This study brings together information on the existence of child labour in Bolivia, Kenya and the Philippines, as well as programmes aimed at eradicating child labour in Bolivia as well as El Salvador and Brazil. It also features an Introduction from Anne Trebilcock, formerly of the International Labour Organization, on the legal conventions that apply to sugarcane work.
Sugarcane and Indigenous People This study looks at the impact of sugarcane developments on the Guarani tribe in Brazil and pastoral communities in the Afar region of Ethiopia and the Tana River delta in Kenya. It suggests that supporting indigenous people should not be seen as a matter of defending disappearing cultures as if they are endangered species, but preventing the destruction of economies and societies that have slowly adapted and shaped their own environment.
Sugarcane in Southern Africa: A Sweeter Deal for the Rural Poor Poor countries in southern Africa are experiencing a boom in sugarcane production, including investment from UK and French sugar companies. This paper explores the impacts of sugar cane production in three countries in southern Africa – Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia – and finds that local economic benefits are limited and that workers are being casualised and exploited.
Agrochemicals Management This report looks at the consequences of the introduction of agricultural chemicals in sugarcane production, discussing key problems and challenges associated with agrochemical use and possible solutions. Despite spectacular increases in crop yields, this progress has not come without cost for human health and the environment.
An Exclusive Engine of Growth: The Development Model of Brazilian Sugarcane This paper provides a contemporary and critical assessment of the development being fostered in the Brazilian sugarcane industry. It looks in particular at the effects that the rapid expansion, modernisation and consolidation of the industry have had on labour and peasants in the country – groups of people often overlooked in a debate marked more by global environmental and food security concerns.
Social Report on Brazil A study of the lives of Brazilian sugarcane workers in an era of mechanisation and modernisation.