All that Green is Sugar Cane
So a lot of you have been asking what I do for a living down here. Everyone knows Sarah is a designer...make sure you check out her website and blog here! She is currently in the states getting ready for a big show in Texas...that is why you are stuck with me blogging this month.
My job is a little more ambiguous. I have fallen into the Sugar (and as of late other commodities) business. Now before we came down here I had no idea that there were different types of sugar or really where or how sugar was produced.
Here is a previous post Sarah did a while back on some of our trips into the sugar cane fields.
I am learning more about it everyday and more about the impacts it has on Brazil and the world. The Sugar industry is really quite impressive and is filled with interesting stories.
I had no idea how hard and dangerous it is to get to the final stage of sugar on your table.
This is cut Sugar Cane...it can grow up to 5 meters tall
So just in case you didn't know Sugar comes from Sugar Cane and Sugar beets, but we are going to focus on Cane...it is a plant that takes 12-16 months to mature.
A video with one of the Mills I work with.
Did you know that 100% of the Sugar Cane in the Northeast of Brazil is cut by hand. Most of the workers here in the Northeast have to cut 2 Tons of Cane each day in order to make the minimum wage. Two tons of cane? Two tons of anything sounds like a lot...and minimum wage is about 311 USD/month.
A lot of the cane in the south of Brasil is now being cut with machines, which is saving a lot of money, time and lives. It is also helping create a better/cleaner sugar.
The cane that is cut by hand has to be burned first in order to make it safer for the workers to cut it.
After all the leaves are and animals are burned out, then the workers go to cutting and hauling the cane. It is really quite impressive when you watch a whole hillside of green cane, get turned into just black dirt.
I will put some more information on the sugar industry up in later posts.