When ancient populations first began to grow their own food, they relied on a limited selection of crops that were able to grow in the local climate and soil conditions. Today, the local climate still influences the types of plants and animals that will grow best in different areas throughout the world. Sugar cane and sugar beet, the two most practical sources of sugar, are examples of plants that require different climatic conditions. Sugar is produced in over 120 countries and global production is approximately 180 million tonnes a year. Approximately 80% of sugar is produced from sugar cane, and the remaining from sugar beet.

In this section you will learn more about where and how sugar cane and sugar beets are grown and produced around the world.