This year, we are proudly marking the 15th full year of our company Tate & Lyle Sugars' commitment to Fairtrade! From 2008 - 2023, we paid more than £49M in Fairtrade premiums – more than any other sugar company – to support thousands of small-scale sugarcane farmers and their communities.
“Fairtrade is a certification system that allows us to sell Fairtrade-certified sugar and generate value for the cane farmers who participate in the program, helping to ensure better livelihoods for farmers and their families,” said Julia Clark, Director of Sugar Ethics. “Under the scheme, certified small producer organizations decide democratically how to spend the premiums generated from the sale of their produce.”
All smallholder cane farmers who supply our Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) sugar mill in Orange Walk are members of Fairtrade producer associations. We also buy Fairtrade sugar from Eswatini, Fiji and Paraguay.
The premiums paid through the sale of our Fairtrade sugars have helped fund projects to improve on-farm productivity, empower women and young people, improve worker health and safety, prevent child labor, promote biodiversity and more.
CREATING MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN
In Northern Belize, our Fairtrade premiums helped fund the Progressive Sugar Cane Producers Association’s launch of a Female Empowerment Program, which provided 60 women with a comprehensive training in skills such as financial literacy.
DELIVERING ESSENTIAL CHILD HEALTHCARE
With funding paid through Fairtrade premiums, cane farmer organizations can arrange for visits by teams of healthcare professionals, making healthcare more accessible to those in rural communities lacking the means to travel to the cities.
A PARTNERSHIP TO FIGHT CHILD LABOR
Working with Fairtrade means that we have a framework in place to address labor issues in a timely, responsible and ethical way.
PROMOTING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FARMERS AND FORESTS
The Progressive Sugar Cane Producers Association’s Environmental Challenge set a goal to continue rebuilding natural habitats and ecosystems in Northern Belize. The Challenge helped the association take important steps to mitigate the impacts of climate change, including through tree-plantings funded by our Fairtrade premiums.
REVOLUTIONIZING CONTRACTS TO BETTER PROTECT WORKERS
Within the cane farming industry in Northern Belize, a significant workforce is employed, particularly during the harvest season. Traditionally, this skilled workforce was hired without formal written agreements by smallholder farmers. Recognizing the need for better practices, we helped launch an initiative to establish clear and accessible written contracts, replacing informal verbal agreements during the harvest.
GRANTS FOR LOCAL ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT
Our payment of Fairtrade premiums to the Progressive Sugar Cane Producers Association enabled the association to run a training program in communication and business skills for women and young people, helping provide them with the skills needed to set up small businesses.
SAFEGUARDING ENDANGERED WILDLIFE
Our Fairtrade premiums have helped the Progressive Sugar Cane Producers Association promote sustainable sugarcane farming practices in Northern Belize that support biodiversity and help wildlife thrive.
IMPROVING BUSINESS FUNCTIONS TO PROTECT BOTH PEOPLE AND THE PLANET
The Progressive Sugar Cane Producers Association used its Fairtrade premium from the sale of our Tate & Lyle® sugars to create a waste management program, with training delivered directly to farmers on how to implement the program at their own sites.
WORKING TOWARDS LOCAL DECARBONIZATION EFFORTS
We are committed to being the most sustainable and ethical sugarcane company and to achieving net zero carbon as fast as we can, for now and generations to come.
As part of these efforts, we were pleased to facilitate an independent, third-party study, funded by Fairtrade International, of the carbon footprint of our BSI Sugar Mill and the Fairtrade-certified smallholder cane farmers who supply it. The study helped establish a baseline from which we can identify opportunities to reduce carbon emissions.