Is Cane Sugar “Canadian”? The Disavowal of Global Lives and Lands within Canadian Sugar Marketing

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Informa UK Limited

This article considers the history of global supply chains in relation to Canadian sugar marketing. Now a dietary staple, refined sugar in Canada today is plentiful and affordable. Ninety percent of this sugar is made from imported cane. Yet within Canada little public awareness exists regarding cane sugars’ countries of origin. Inquiring into how Canadian refiners have portrayed their cane sugars’ provenance, this article sketches out the histories of land and labor disavowal within Canadian cane sugar marketing. Looking at advertising produced by the company Rogers Sugar between 1890 and 1931, it finds that during this time a tension existed between portraying Rogers’ sugars as sourced from within the British Empire and as emanating from Canada. As well, in most of its advertising, Rogers’ white Canadian refinery workers are high-lighted. Due to these workers’ ubiquity, the omission of interna-tional contributors to Rogers’ sugars is especially noticeable.

© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any med-ium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.