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What is the Price We Pay for Sugar?

May 6, 2013

The Price of Sugar

Do you ever think about who grows and harvests sugar? Grocery aisles are stocked with many types of sugar as well as products that contain sugar. The Dominican Republic has 250,000 acres of sugar cane and has five sugar companies on the island. The sugar is harvested and sent to the United States where it is used to make the cookies and cakes that we enjoy eating.

Far from the pristine beaches in the Dominican Republic there is a hidden secret. “The Price of Sugar” tells the true story of a Spanish priest who visits a sugar plantation in the Dominican Republic. Father Christopher Hartley follows the lives of a group of laborers from Haiti who are brought to the Dominican by the Vicini Sugar Company. The false promise of a decent wage is traded for hunger, poor housing, lack of clean water, education and healthcare.

Father Hartley receives death threats from the natives who believe that their needs are being ignored. At the risk of his own life, Father Hartley takes on the powerful sugar barons and the government to fight for the basic human rights of the Haitians. He helped bring a voice to a group of people whose concerns are ignored and taught the Haitians to stand up for their rights.

At Wholesome Sweeteners, we believe in protecting the farmers who help grow and harvest our Fairtrade honey, sugar and agave products. We work to improve the quality of their lives while paying them a fair price for all their hard work and labor. The Fairtrade symbol on our products means that the producers and traders have met Fairtrade International Standards. The vision of Fairtrade International is a world in which all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfill their potential and decide on their future. Since 2005, we have paid more than $8 million in social premiums to our Fairtrade partners.

“The Price of Sugar” can be found on You Tube.

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