From the trans-Atlantic slave trade to present-day trade policies, sugar is a crop that has shaped a lot of the world—and it continues to have very big, real-life consequences for the communities that grow it. This is episode 2 of Nestle’s KitKat Unwrapped, and we’re diving into the world of sugar.
Before sugar made it to Nestle’s (formerly) fair trade certified UK KitKat bar, it was grown, harvested, and shipped from Fiji, a small island nation nearly 10,000 miles away from the English factory where it would be used. Why was Nestle going to such great lengths for Fijian sugar? The answer is tangled in the bitter history of both countries. Karen Mapasua of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) helps us understand how this history continues to impact the island today.
Then we speak with Andres Gonzales of the Manduvira sugar cooperative in Paraguay. Here, cooperatively organized, small-scale sugar farmers are bucking the global sugar establishment and making history with a farmer-owned sugar growing and milling operation. The success in their community shows an inspiring alternative to business-as-usual and lights the way toward a sweeter future in sugar.
Since we originally recorded this episode, the island of Fiji was hit by Cyclone Yasa, a category five tropical cyclone. Winds reached 160 mph and heavy rains destroyed food and sugarcane crops for 90-100% of Fijian households. The consequences of the climate crisis continue to disproportionately impact those least responsible. To learn more and support relief efforts, follow the link in this episode's transcript.
For a Better World is a show by Fair World Project. Learn more about the show at FairWorldProject.org. If you like what you hear, support our work on Patreon: patreon.com/ForABetterWorldPodcast.
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