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Thoughtfully Sourced: The Green Cane Project

Doozy Pots is founded on a deeply rooted belief that we can create delicious treats made with ingredients that are kinder to the earth and its growing communities. That belief drives every decision about what we put into our pints of plant-based, vegan gelato.

Our mission at Doozy Pots to find ingredients grown & produced in responsible, sustainability-minded ways by people who genuinely care for the well-being of the earth and the workers whose efforts help to grow & create the products we all enjoy.

With that, we wanted to share our sugar sourcing journey with you. When conventionally grown, cane sugar can be an incredibly destructive to the environment, and the industry is historically notorious for poor ethical practices and labor conditions. Knowing this, we needed to find an organic cane sugar that was grown, harvested, and processed by fairly-treated workers in a way that gives back to the earth, rather than just taking from it.

Regenerative organic cane sugar

Our search led us to Native Sugar’s Green Cane Project, the first Regenerative Organic Certified™ sugar producer. The Green Cane Project was launched in 1987 and is one of the largest sustainable agriculture projects in the world. Leontino Balbo Jr., whose family had been in the sugar business since 1903, saw that modern agriculture could be very destructive. He made a bet that restoring natural processes could improve the health of his crops and surrounding ecosystem, while still providing a living for his family. Though the first years were tough, his Green Cane Project has proven that sustainable and regenerative agriculture can be done on a large commercial scale while promoting biodiversity, improving soil quality, and implementing beneficial programs and practices for their workers.

As a leader in sustainable, responsible agriculture, The Green Cane Project has:

🌳 Pioneered mechanical green cane harvesting by adapting farm machinery to replace the destructive practice of burning cane fields, which releases greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change and are harmful to workers.

🌳 Replaced synthetic fertilizers with green mulch made from the part of the plant that used to be lost in the burning process, and recycled liquid from the sugar cane pulping process which is sprayed back onto the fields. The mulch provides ground cover, preventing erosion, and together with the recycled residue delivers the nutrients needed for soil and crop health, mimicking natural processes, and avoiding the need for harsh chemicals.

🌳 Used the dry residue from the pulping process to feed a steam furnace which powers the extraction of sugar from the canes and provides electricity to other buildings and excess to the local grid.

🌳 Replaced synthetic pesticides which contribute to soil degradation and water pollution with natural pest and disease control, with the added advantage of increasing biodiversity.

🌳 Planted over 1 million trees to create 11,000 acres of greenways or "biodiversity islands" on its farms to attract beneficial wildlife including natural predators for pests.                                                                                                  
🌳Provided extensive care for their workers and families, including fair compensation, community housing, healthcare and schooling.

    Today, the Green Cane Project farms and processes close to 20,000 hectares (49,421 acres) of certified organic cane fields and the results have been incredible:

    🌳 Increased healthy soil organic matter content in the field from 1% to 4% and the soil now has 3x the water retention capacity, increasing ground water quality and volume. This means the Green Cane Project’s soil fertility and carbon sequestration ability is now approaching virgin rainforest quality.
      🌳 Eliminated the use of 13,900 tons of agrochemicals that would otherwise have contributed to soil degradation and water pollution.

      🌳 Reduced impact from droughts and pest damage thanks to the healthier soil, better moisture retention, natural pest control and 23x the biodiversity of conventional fields (including many rare species).
        🌳 Increased yields vs. conventional cane fields. This is important, because often lower yields are used as a key argument against sustainable agriculture. The Green Cane Project proves that you can care for the earth and grow enough food to feed people and provide farmers with a living.
          🌳 Saved over 25,000 metric tons of CO2 per year and generated enough surplus electricity to supply electricity to a town of over 500,000 people through their cogeneration and waste recycling.

          🌳100% Carbon Neutral – from sugarcane growth in the fields to warehouses in North America and Europe.

            To learn more about this sweet story, check out these pieces: