The organic, Fairtrade, and specialty sugars markets have shown mixed developments in recent years. These three markets are not completely separate, but in aggregate amounted to around 928,000 tonnes in 2019. What unifies the three is the fact that they attain a premium over world market prices and offer diversification opportunities for the sugar industry whilst contributing in various forms to sustainable development. Unchanged is the fact that they continue to represent only a small portion of the world sugar market, accounting for less than 0.6% of global production and consumption. Fairtrade sugar sales have faltered in recent years and a number of producing cooperatives have been decertified. Specialty sugar imports into the US and EU are estimated to have grown modestly, although traditional suppliers with preferential access to these markets have reportedly had to contend with increased competition.
The organic sugar market has grown steadily, reaching around 468,000 tonnes in 2019, bolstered by production growth in various cane-growing countries, chiefly located in South America. Organic sugar continues to attain a significant premium over conventional white sugar prices, but prices have trended down in recent years. This has been attributed to new participants entering the market, and established producers expanding production. Interestingly, there seems to be no direct relationship between organic prices and world market values. While a deeper look into the formation of organic sugar prices would be warranted, it appears as if organic sugar prices are more swayed by supply and demand conditions, rather than world market prices for conventional sugar, implying a potentially less volatile price environment for producers.
Looking ahead, with an EU organics Action Plan under the Green Deal, set to increase supply as well as demand, it is conceivable that within this decade, the gap between organic cane and beet sugar production may yet narrow.
Introduction 1 The Organic Products Market Global Organic Agricultural Production Global Market for Organic Products Policies, Certification and Government Support 2 Organic Sugar Consumer Acceptance Producer Considerations World Organic Sugar Production & Supply Country Summaries & Developments 3 Fairtrade Sugar Sales Suppliers 4 Specialty Sugars Market size and major producers Mauritius 5 Price Premium 6 Outlook 7 Conclusion