Being Eco-Friendly is Our Jam!
Learn Why Sustainable Cane Sugar is Important!
If you pick up the nearest packaged food item near you, read the ingredient label, you can be almost certain to find some form of sugar. While there are many forms and sources of sugar, the three most common sources are corn (corn syrup), sugar beets, and sugar cane. Crofter’s Organic offers two varieties of fruit spread: Premium & Just Fruit.
Just Fruit Spread (green cap): sweetened with fruit juice
Premium Spread (red cap): sweetened with IBD Fair-Trade certified cane sugar from the Green Cane Project in Brazil
You might be wondering, what does “IBD Fair-Trade” mean?
Crofters Premium Spreads are sweetened exclusively with IBD Fair-Trade cane sugar. The IBD Fair-Trade certification is a comprehensive program which covers two primary facets, sustainability and social justice. Sugar cane farming has traditionally been a fairly destructive practice on both fronts. Normal harvesting of sugar cane presents a significant sustainability issue. Due to the size of these massive plants (upwards of 20ft tall!), it’s easier to burn off the green tops of the plant prior to harvesting because stocks contain only the sweet juice that’s eventually turned into sugar. Although this simplifies the harvesting process tremendously, it puts unnecessary strain on the environment. First of all, burning releases thousands of tons of harmful gasses sequestered by plants into the environment. Secondly, it leaves the soil completely vulnerable to rapid dehydration, which can cause soil fertility to decline significantly.
In addition, the sugar cane industry has historically also had very poor ethical practices, similar to other temperate climate crops such as coffee and cocoa. Workers often face poor working conditions, extremely long work hours, and inequitable wages. The “social” aspect of IBD Fair-Trade is to ensure that workers are treated fairly, have safe working conditions, and are fairly compensated.
The Green Cane Project
Crofter’s has been partnered with the Green Cane Project for nearly 20 years as its exclusive supplier for cane sugar. This remarkable operation, rated one of the world’s top 15 most sustainable companies by the World Economic Forum in 2015, completely transformed the norms of sugar cane agriculture. By adopting green harvesting practices and various other sustainability initiatives, they have been able to regenerate the soil fertility in their crops to that of virgin rainforest quality, a complete 180° (learn more about regenerative agriculture here).
In addition to their forward-thinking sustainability initiatives, they also provide extensive care for their workers and families. Not only do they receive fair compensation and ethical labor conditions, but are also provided with community housing, access to healthcare, and even schooling for their children. To learn more about the Green Cane Project’s business model, check out this great video.
Fair-Trade as a certification is much more than merely an environmental certification. It is the best ethical and social certification as well. In other words, ensuring social, environmental, ethical, and economic impact. Therefore, overall human impact. #CroftersBearApproved
Since we’re a family-owned company we like to support other family-owned businesses. That’s another reason why we use only Fair-Trade Cane Sugar sourced from the eco-friendly Green Cane project in Brazil.
The Crofter’s Difference
Even though cane sugar is used to sweeten up our Premium Fruit Spreads, Crofter’s is a low-sugar fruit spread. There is actually More Fruit, Less Sugar in our spreads. Have you ever looked at the back of your jam, jelly, or preserve jar? Warning, you may be shocked by the sugar content!