Sugarcane workers portrait

by Luca Catalano Gonzaga

Illovo Sugar, which is owned by Associated British Foods (Ryvita, Patak’s, Primark) is the biggest sugar producer in Africa and among the six southern Africa countries in which Illovo operates, Malawi generates the highest profits. However, gains from increased sugar exports to Europe and other African markets have brought few benefits for low-grade workers at Illovo Malawi. Things are particularly bad for those who do the backbreaking job of sugarcane cutting – most of whom are employed as seasonal or casual workers. Less than fifty percent of Illovo Malawi’s 10,000-strong total workforce are outsourced workers – they are not covered by health care and guaranteed wages. The reportage, by Luca Catalano Gonzaga, shows a series of portraits of these workers. (text by Luca Catalano Gonzaga).