TEXT OF INTERVIEW
SCOTT JAGOW: Today in Britain, a new very expensive sugar went on the market. Our man in London, Stephen Beard is here to tell us about it. Stephen?
STEPHEN BEARD: Plantation reserve comes from Barbados. It is six times more expensive than standard sugar, costs about $5 for half a bag. It’s Barbados’ response to an industry in crisis. The E.U. is about to slash subsidies and that’s gonna create huge problems and therefore the Barbadian government wants to try to carve out a substantial niche market for much more expensive sugar.
JAGOW: And is there a market for sugar that’s six times more expensive?
BEARD: There’s only one customer so far in the U.K. apparently, the Ritz hotel. They had a wine taster who sampled this and he said it had a hint of caramel and honeysuckle. And you don’t need much of it. It is apparently very much sweeter than ordinary sugar so you use it sparingly and at $5 a bag you certainly would use it sparingly.
JAGOW: I would think so. I mean Europeans are known for paying for fair trade products. Does Barbados not qualify for that?
BEARD: No that is part of the problem, they will not qualify for that fair trade labeling so the consumers will pay a higher price knowing that they are helping poor producers. Barbados is simply too wealthy to qualify for that.
JAGOW: Well I guess we’ll see how it works. Let me know when you get your complimentary bag of sugar.
BEARD: I certainly will.
JAGOW: Alright thanks Stephen.
BEARD: OK Scott.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.
Give today and get our limited edition tote.