Workers in the Dominican Republic cut sugarcane on a plantation run by the Central Romana Corp. The Florida-based Fanjul Group owns a large stake in the plantation. Credit: Pedro Farias-Nardi for Mother Jones

Reveal’s The Bitter Work Behind Sugar, which unearthed the exploitative labor practices of sugar producer Central Romana Corp. in the Dominican Republic, has won the Morton Frank Award from the Overseas Press Club of America. The award is given for the best international business news reporting in TV, video, radio, audio or podcast.

After the story first aired in fall 2021, Congress took action. Fifteen members of the House Ways and Means Committee called on federal agencies to formulate a plan to address what they called the “slave-like conditions” in the Dominican cane fields.

The investigation team included Sandy Tolan, Euclides Cordero Nuel and Reveal’s Michael Montgomery. The show was co-produced by Reveal and PRX and was in partnership with Mother Jones, with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

From the judges: “The reporting, which has prompted scrutiny from Congress and the Department of Labor, documented workers enduring $4 a day wages, staggering debt, substandard housing and woeful medical care while enhancing Central Romana Corp.’s profitability.”

This is Reveal’s first award from the Overseas Press Club of America.

Dig Deeper

Read: The High Human Cost of America’s Sugar Habit (Mother Jones)

Read:They Just Came and Started Breaking Houses’ (Mother Jones)

Listen: Tolan’s original story from 1991 about sugarcane cutters in the Dominican Republic (Homelands Productions)

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