Global Market Report: Sugar

Voluntary sustainability standard sugar production is on the rise with continued growth expected.

Corporate sustainable sourcing commitments of leading food manufacturing companies are increasing demand for voluntary sustainability standard (VSS)-compliant sugar.

The sector experienced a compound annual growth rate of about 52% from 2008 to 2016, accounting for over 3% of total sugarcane production in 2016. About 90% of VSS-compliant sugarcane comes from Latin America, with substantial volumes also deriving from Australia, India and Malawi. 

However, the sector must overcome significant hurdles to produce VSS-compliant sugarcane. These include limiting air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, conserving water resources, respecting labour rights and worker health and safety, and improving producer profitability.

This new report is the fourth in IISD’s Sustainable Commodities Marketplace Series, which presents sustainable production and consumption market information on agricultural commodities to foster transparency, knowledge and strategic decision making for sustainable development. The first three reports, focused on coffee, cocoa and tea, are online. Future reports will focus on the production of bananas, cotton, palm oil and soybeans.  

Report details

Standards and Value Chains
State of Sustainability Initiatives
Focus area
IISD, 2020