Sugar Cane Industry Grows Stronger
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Sugar Cane Industry Grows Stronger

Photo by:   Faran Raufi -Unsplash
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Eliza Galeana By Eliza Galeana | Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst - Thu, 02/16/2023 - 15:41

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) and the National Committee for the Sustainable Development of Sugar Cane (CONADESUCA) inaugurated the Sugar Cane Center for Scientific and Technological Research (CICTCAÑA) to complement the initiatives already launched by the Agro-industry National Program for Sugarcane. Meanwhile, sugar companies struggle with labeling requirements imposed by the government.

“One of CICTCAÑA’s greatest advantages is that it will avoid creating additional bureaucratic structures. In this way, we seek to take advantage of the existing human capital and infrastructure of regional experimental fields," said Aristóteles Vaca Pérez, an Agribusiness expert.

Pérez highlighted that the agreement between industrial players and sugarcane growers, along with the federal government, will have a positive outcome that will increase the technological and digital tools in the sector and improve the harvest sustainably. 

According to CONADESUCA, Mexico ranks sixth in global sugarcane production. During 2H22, SADER reported sugarcane production had reached 804,243ha, from which 55.04 million t of sucrose were obtained.

In recent years, the sugar industry has been affected by the government's initiatives to reduce sugar consumption in processed foods. Due to a 2019 reform, processed products are now required to front-label the amounts of sugar, sodium and saturated fats they contain. This has triggered a series of amparos against the measure by companies like Herdez, Barrilitos and Santa Clara, the latter two owned by Coca-Cola.

In response to the labeling, the National Chamber for the Sugar and Alcohol Industry (CNIAA) has promoted a campaign called Let’s talk about sugar, in which sugar is promoted as a 100% natural food.  "Sugar is a traditional Mexican product that we have used for the past 500 years," said Humberto Jasso, President, CNIAA. He stressed that health diseases such as obesity and diabetes are the result of a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors, so the blame cannot be attributed to the consumption of natural sugar alone.

In contrast, Simón Barquera, Director, the Nutrition and Health Research Centre of the  National Institute of Public Health, pointed out that “just because it is natural does not mean it is good.” To Barquera, sugar is harmful at the levels it is consumed at, which is on average five to six times higher per person than the recommended amount by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Currently, Mexico ranks sixth as the country with the highest levels of obesity in the world. Nearly 10% of its population suffers from diabetes, according to data from the International Diabetes Federation.

Photo by:   Faran Raufi -Unsplash

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