South African sugarcane industry faces sustainability challenges

The South African Canegrowers Association on Thursday said they are facing stiff competition from imported sugar and called on compatriots to purchase home-grown ones.

The South African Canegrowers Association said this when they pitched a billboard in Johannesburg along the busy N2 road in their Home Sweet Home campaign. The campaign is to encourage South Africans to buy locally produced sugar to save over one million jobs.

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“The campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the serious threats facing the local sugar industry. Chief among these is the significant share of the local market that cheap imports hold,” said South African Canegrowers Association spokesperson Thabi Ndhlovu.

“For every ton of imported sugar that enters our market, our local South African industry loses over 267 U.S. dollars. As a result of this trend, our local industry has been forced to export domestic surplus onto an oversupplied world market at a significant loss,” she said.

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Other challenges the industry is facing include drought, the decline in world sugar prices, and a major drop in local demand for sugar due to the introduction of the Health Promotion Levy (sugar tax).

Ndhlovu said the sugar industry will actively promote local sugar to consumers and ensure there is visible labelling on local sugar packaging.


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