India is currently the second-largest producer of sugarcane and of sugar in the world, after Brazil, and sugarcane production in India supports 50 million farmers and their families. Given the Fair Labor Association’s expertise in task and risk mapping in the agriculture sector and the interests of many FLA stakeholders, FLA conducted this study to: 1) map the upstream sugarcane supply chain from the sugar processing units (sugar mills) to sugarcane farms; 2) map the various activities and tasks involved in the production of sugarcane; 3) conduct a risk assessment of labor issues with respect to the various activities and production process of sugarcane; and 4) map the stakeholders involved in the sugarcane supply chain.
This report represents an initial step towards mapping the vast sugarcane production regions in India, and identifying associated risks and relevant stakeholders in the field. It is intended to form the basis for future mappings and assessments.
A total of 91 interviews were conducted during the study, including management of 10 sugar mills (34 factory management staff; staff at seven civil society organizations; 13 government officials; 11 contractors; 18 farmers; and eight workers. Twenty-one farms were visited during the course of the study. The questions were mostly open-ended, keeping in mind the supply chain review and the various FLA Code of Conduct elements that required observation.