Paraguay’s Economy Benefits as the World’s Largest Exporter of Organic Sugar

Paraguay made the move to lead the way in commercial-scale organic sugar production and today sees an annual volume of 200,000 tonnes being ordered by more than a half dozen export markets, making it the leading exporter of organic sugar in the world. The European Union, Canada, the United States, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Peru look to Paraguay for its organic sugar. In fact, more than 60% of sugar produced in Paraguay today is organic, and Paraguay ships more than 50% of its organic sugar to the US. Continued growth in production and demand is projected to top 450,000 tonnes per year by 2015. What’s more, Paraguay has been the main origin market for U.S. Fair Trade Certified sugar since 2005.

How did Paraguay position itself as a leader in organic sugar? Credit has to go to the Paraguayan government and industry leaders for recognizing the potential niche two decades ago, and embracing it. And, although organic and Fair Trade sugar may still each account for less than 1% of global sugar consumption, the fact is they’re growing at a steady, healthy annual clip, with little or no chance of reductions in the growth rate.

Furthermore, logistics companies in Paraguay are responding to export growth figures that local sugar producers have made available, and are investing in transportation, port improvements and expansion. A mix of private investment and government-backed financing for cane grower cooperatives may be all Paraguay needs to capitalize on the massive potential organic sugar is offering it.