Sugar Cane Cutters

Once upon a time, in my “young ‘n feerless” days, way back in my early 20’s, I was hitching across Queensland looking for work and boy did I find it. Just outside of Port Douglas, in northern Queensland I met a young dude who’s family owned a sugar plantation, every day they took newbies out to the fields to see if they could “hack-it”, literally. The old photo from Ayr, Queensland shows one major difference from my session (which lasted 2.5 days, as I was let-go at lunch on the 3rd day), was that we were sugar cane cutters of just previously “burnt” sugar cane. Yes, it was black with soot and with every whack of the machete, big blooms of black dust would poof into the air from the sugar cane stocks. Burning the sugar cane a couple of days before the cutters get there, reduces the number of deadly snakes in the 8 foot high sugar cane fields.

It was the single hardest job I ever tried and one of the very few times I was let-go, for not being able to keep swinging. The first few hours seemed easy and relatively enjoyable, as a young man you’d be thinking about a golf or baseball swing and how this repetitive chopping will be good for the physique etc… Then, as the afternoon heat starts to melt into heavy humidity, you begin to realize that the sweat is causing slippery grip issues with the machete, next you start to realize that your hand is beginning to blister. If you make it through your first day, as I did but most walk-off (without pay). The next day was a total attitude adjustment, ok I thought, let’s do this and it will get easier after today. By the late morning it was discovered that I wasn’t chopping the sugar cane stocks low enough to the ground, more demonstrations were given, corrections made and work carried on but it was obvious that I was falling behind the other cane cutters.

On the 3rd morning, I was dreading holding on to that machete in my oh-so-sore hand. The regular crew of sugar cane cutters just jump straight into the black charred wall of sugar cane. it’s truly incredible watching a real pro, the ease with which they chop through giant stocks of sugar with perfect precision, to lay it in a perfect angle on the ground. It’s similar in some ways to watching a golf or tennis pro. The toll it takes on the body is insane, even hard to explain, unless you’ve tried it. The amount of deadly snakes in Australia is another factor but it’s that humid heat of northern Queensland that put’s a young man to the test. My test ended about mid-morning on the third day. The boss dropped me in town, paid me, thanked me and said I did much better than most. That was my dirtiest job and I was happy to get sacked, the sore hands and arm were soon forgotten.

In modern days and the reason for remembering this story, is that I’m an agent for Brazil Sugar, the best sugar in the world. Sugar is the commodity that I have focused on learning about, now I am a commodity trader. Yes, after years of trying, I finally found a buyer for sugar. For years I’ve had the exact perfect connections and agency agreements in place, to sell and export Brazil sugar. Although it’s taken me over 5 years to make my first sugar deal, I’ve got one in the bag and just getting started. If you’re a commodity trader and know a buyer for sugar, please contact me for a Brazil sugar quote.

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