It might surprise you to learn about just how many countries in the world produce sugarcane. Would it shock you to hear that 124 are responsible for sugar production? Sugar is an important export in many countries worldwide. Here is a summarized list of the top ten countries in order of the amount of overall sugar they produce: Brazil, India, China, Thailand, the United States, Pakistan, Mexico, Russia, France, and Germany.
India was the first country to ever produce sugar, which was more than two thousand years ago if you can believe it. Something that not many people realize is that sugarcane is not the only ingredient used to make sugar. Sugar is often produced from beets. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 124 countries produce sugar. Djibouti produces the least amount of sugar, whereas the South American powerhouse country of Brazil easily out-produces every country in the world in terms of sugar. Since the information was gathered and published by United Nations officials, the measurements used were metric tonnes. For clarification, a metric tonne is equal to 1,000 kilograms, or roughly 2,204 pounds.
Returning to the topic of how much sugar is grown and manufactured around the world, the sugar industry is 80% comprised of sugarcane production. The rest of the sugar production is broken down into beet sugar, cane sugar, raw sugar, and then very small amounts of other unclassified types of sugar. The global industry of sugar manufacturing is no longer accelerating as rapidly as it once did. Although the industry is experiencing a slight decline in jobs, revenue, employees, and overall production levels of sugar, the industry has gone through a dip in sales and production in prior years. It would not be surprising to find that the industry begins to take off once more in the near future.
First, sugar is planted, just like any other type of budding plant. During the harvesting process, sugar plants receive the nutrients they require to grow. Once the sugar cane stalks are at their prime, they are pulled from the soil and redirected to processing mills for the next phase of the production process. Mill yard employees prepare the sugar for extraction, and sugar is then turned into a liquid, called sugar juice. Once the sugar has crystallized, it is then put through a centrifugal machine to finalize the process. From there, sugar is dried, sorted, packaged, and then distributed to their respective locations.
According to the American Sugar Alliance, sugar is produced on farms in 14 U.S. states. However, there are sugar distribution centers in 24 states and sugar beet factories in about nine states. The seventeen U.S. states that generate jobs for people within the sugar production industry are Minnesota, Louisiana, Idaho, North Dakota, Michigan, Florida, Nebraska, California, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Texas, Maryland, Georgia, Hawaii, Oregon, and New York. An estimated $3.36 billion flows into the United States solely from Minnesota's sugar production industry. The sugar industry also creates about 28,021 jobs in Minnesota. New York is a state that does not produce or grow sugarcane anywhere within the state; however, New York is still responsible for $292 million in revenue from the sugar industry. There are just over 1,000 jobs in New York State, all related to sugar distribution centers within N.Y.