Sugar in fair trade in Latin American and the Caribbean was born in the 90s. That wonderful event allowed that today the certificate sugar family has expanded to 11 countries and bringing together more than 50 small producer organizations that produce sugar cane in the region, both organic and conventional.

Nature has provided sugar cane with many possibilities for derivates, which opens options for producers; given that it can produce centrifugal and non-centrifugal sugar and other products such as biofuel and spirit drinks.


CLAC has formed an organizational structure comprised of all the Small Producer Organizations. In turn, all the organizations of each product, from different countries, have united and created a producer network of sugar cane and its derivates, known as Sugar Network, which consolidates its democratic fate in the General Assembly.

In CLAC, it has been defined a proactive and integral strategy on the theory of change that is linked by a series of strategic lines, such as: organizational strengthening and development, production, market, management to meet Fairtrade’s criteria and cross-cutting themes. Such strategy is linked to Producer Networks in Asia and Africa.

Strategic lines are the basis to create dynamic actions and an enabling environment of a systemic service to the sugar grower and overcome the sugar challenge of low sales and prices decline, by:

  • Strengthening the organizational and human profile of the Small Producer Organization that allows competitiveness and accurate decision-making.
  • Optimizing compliance with Fairtrade’s criteria.
  • Securing quality in the agroindustrial and commercial process, as well as impact stories communication to achieve market opening and more transparency.

Current challenges

The Sugar Network is in constant review and oversight and currently the following challenges have been identified:

  • Focus every day the service to the Fairtrade sugar producer in strengthening its organizational, administrative and strategic profile, as well as its teams to face its challenges, bring it closer to the market, find sales alternatives for certified sugar through alliances and strategic preforms that allow increased competitiveness and sustainability. In addition to integrate in each of those phases communication and information schemes that facilitate internal integration and accurate decision-making, control and transparency.
  • Our desire to overcome the current sugar juncture of volatility is sales and prices, with the task to reactive market opening for sugar and its derivates and that is shows in the increase of sales, through the value of the principle of direct relation, in the long term and with added value. Simultaneously, the integration of industry as a fundamental part in cane transformation and the commercial link with the buyer (market) must be consolidated. In this way, it can be implemented a development model by using Premium Fairtrade or alliances with players from the model to increase organizational, productive, social and environmental impact in producers and their communities.

Sugar Network team

In CLAC, a team of specialists to the service of the producer has been formed, that seeks to address the needs directly from the producers, from the labor of Strengthening and Development Managers for each country. Furthermore, the processes are properly coordinated by the Sugar Manager. This team has shaped a roadmap with the main lines of action:

  1. Organizational, administrative and financial union and strengthening in Organizations.
  2. Agroindustrial integration.
  3. Production and trade.
  4. Management of Fairtrade criteria and CLAC’s cross-cutting themes.

Service to the producer

Our mission and main asset is the sugar producer. All of our goals aim to a “personalized” service to the producer, on site, by using the best organizational and technological tools. As well as adapting our work and respecting the geographical, legal, socio-political and cultural characteristics that each sugar country has.

Which is the reason why, and knowing the sugar reality and the producers’ profile, an inclusion process, solidary participation and ethical integration is implemented in a natural and dynamic way of the certified chain in order to secure more added value and productive sustainability.

We seek an awareness dynamic with all the players of the Fair Trade model, by conducting activities such as regional meetings and exchange of experiences between producers.

Take a look at the latest news and updates from the Sugar Network

Sugar Network Infography

Do not hesitate to contact CLAC to help you solve any questions regarding our work and the beneficial impact that Fair Trade has in our organizations, networks, territory and society.

It will always be a pleasure to serve you!