Unlike some of the other ingredients we've looked at, such as cocoa and vanilla, most of the sugar consumed in the United States is domestically grown (primarily in the form of sugar beets, as well as some sugar cane). However, the US does import about 20 percent of its sugar from tropical and developing countries, and this is where Fair Trade certification can help promote economic and environmental stability.
Fair Trade Certified sugar is grown by farmer-owned cooperatives in Paraguay, Costa Rica, Peru, Malawi, Zambia, and the Philippines. Here's a list of brands and products available in the US and Canada. All of these are also organic.
• Alter Eco: Unrefined Ground Cane Sugar
• Cocoa Camino: Golden Cane Sugar (Turbinado)
• Dean's Beans: Sugar and Brown Sugar
• Equal Exchange: Sugar Packets
• Wholesome Sweeteners: Sugar, Sucanat, Light Brown Sugar, Dark Brown Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Natural Cane Sugar, and Raw Cane Sugar
(Images: fairtrade media/David Boucherie)