Colombia sugar and palm oil as all good things must come to an end

My last activity as an IUF staff was to attend a sugar and a palm oil workshops organised by the Colombian agricultural workers union, Sintrainagro, and by the IUF Latin America regional organisation (Rel UITA) in Cali (sugar) and Santa Marta (palm oil) from 8-12 October. The workshops showed Sintrainagro as a strong union organisation with the capacity to bring together to discuss national strategies with representatives from the employers and government officials directly involved in the running of these two crucial agricultural sectors in Colombia.

Personally, it was rewarding to see how unions deal with important issues around protecting employment and supporting national production, keeping in mind the concerns of the workers and the general population that depends on these sectors. Rel UITA has posted several articles related to these workshops on their web site ( that are worthwhile reading and commenting, particularly by unions in sugar (and in palm oil) with whom I have been working in the past decades.

All good things must come to an end goes the saying, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have developed my initial NGO-type of concern and support to sugar workers unions (1984-1997) into a more organic job through an international global union as the IUF (1999-2018).

As a good friend once told me, “once in sugar, always in sugar,” I hope to continue in contact with the unions and providing, whenever possible, my support.

Finally, please update your contact lists with my new e-mail address: [email protected]

All the best,


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  1. God bless you Jorge. Your work in South Africa, particularly within the Food & Allied Workers Union (FAWU) will for always be appreciated and remembered.
    I was honoured to work with you on the IUF/FAWU Sugar Workers Project and admired your dedication, work ethic and care for workers struggling to improve their lives and the lives of their families.
    Here’s wishing you godspeed and peace, health and happiness.
    From all of us at FAWU!!!

  2. Aww Jorge!!! This is so sad to hear you are leaving us. Thanks for your continuous efforts, assistance and commitment to the sugar workers in South Africa. We’ve made invaluable gains
    from your interaction & in the sector. Keep doing good!God bless! Dominique & all from FAWU.

    • Miriam Wanyama on November 5, 2018 at 7:11 am

    Jorge, your work in sugar cannot be measured, you have nurtured People and unions, for KUSPAW Kenya, we appreciate so much for teaching us how to fish but not giving us the fish, although we still needed your presence and coordination. anyway as for me, will carry on the mantle. One fact remains,we will miss you and your expertise. Therefore, we will continue request for your knowledge. Jorge, my mentor, may the good Lord Jesus bless you.

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