Domino Sugar and Labor Trafficking


Domino Sugar is one of America’s leading brands that can be found in every grocery store and supermarket. What many consumers don’t know is that this sugar company is operated by human labor trafficking. This disguised industry has forced and coerced over 68,000 Haitian and Dominican citizens to cut sugar cane for the American Sugar Refinery, co-owned by the same brothers that run the sugar plantations that make up Central Romana. 

Alfonso and Pepe Fanjul have an unauthorized police system that is abducting children and adults and forcing them to cut the canes if they want to survive. These workers, called cañeros, make around $3 a day putting sugar in our pantries. This labor trafficking ring is very abusive towards the workers. Every day they are exposed to deadly diseases and chemicals, along with having inadequate living conditions and medical assistance. 

One of the main ways people become subjected to trafficking is by false information, and that’s exactly what happened to these cañeros. They were promised good pay, well-supplied housing, medical treatment, and the ability to leave whenever they wanted, though none of that came true. 

While this seems like a huge issue that needs government intervention, it is so easy for consumers to make a difference. In today’s world, many consumers are conscious about their sugar intake and the amount of money they spend on groceries. The easiest way to stand up against this labor trafficking ring is to change what you and your family place in your shopping cart. It’s extremely easy to grab the GreatValue or store brand bags of sugar instead of a Domino product. Besides the benefit of saving a few cents per bag, you can help address this human rights issue with just a simple habit change. 

If you’re interested in making a larger impact, the Polaris Project is a U.S. government website that offers training programs and donations. Polaris is dedicated to helping trafficking victims and survivors while educating the public about human trafficking and providing training videos for first responders and for people like yourself to become certified to help victims properly. Please take this article into consideration, as your efforts can change someone’s life.


Work Cited

“Polaris Project.” Polaris, 9 Nov. 2022,

Tolan, Sandy. “The High Human Cost of America’s Sugar Habit.” Pulitzer Center, 17 Sep. 2021,

“What Is Forced Labor?” DHS: Blue Campaign,