October 2015 saw Bonsucro Week head to Brazil’s São Paulo State, a region that produces a great proportion of the world’s sugarcane, and one that has been at the forefront of technological research and sustainability developments.

Participants got the chance to witness first-hand a Bonsucro certified mill – the beautiful São Manoel mill in central São Paulo state – and learnt how the mill put sustainability at the heart of their operations. They visited Bonsucro member Assobari’s farms to see how they work to promote continuous improvement and value creation throughout their production system.

Bonsucro Week 2015 also included a visit to the Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (CTC) and the Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Lab (CTBE), world renowned sugarcane technology and research centres, hearing from leading scientists and researchers.

The Member & Stakeholder Consultation Day, held in the beautiful Floresta dos Unicórnios, Granja Viana, was the opportunity for participants to give their input into Bonsucro’s ongoing strategy refresh.

Speakers from all areas of the sugarcane value chain convened for the Bonsucro Annual Conference, which took place back in São Paulo itself. The speakers and participants debated topics on the theme, ‘Creating lasting value with sugarcane – Inform, Improve, Inspire’. 

The week was rounded off by the Bonsucro Annual Dinner & Awards Ceremony.

For 2014’s event, Bonsucro Week travelled to South-east Asia – one of the largest sugarcane-producing regions. Two locations in the Philippines played host to Bonsucro Week 2014 – Tagaytay and Manila.

Participants gathered in the town of Tagaytay, located just 90 minutes’ drive from Manila, in a lush landscape overlooking a stunning vista of Taal Lake and the Taal Volcano Island in its centre. The site visit was to the sugarcane mill of Central Azucarera Don Pedro.

Participants spent the following day in the serene surroundings of Antonio’s Restaurant, a short journey from the Taal Vista Hotel. The day included several working group sessions and workshops.

The Manila leg of Bonsucro Week began in earnest with a series of key meetings at the Peninsula Hotel, including the Bio-based Working Group and discussions on the revision of the Chain of Custody Standard.

The biggest day was saved until last, with the Annual Conference, the AGM, the Annual Dinner and the presentation of the Bonsucro Awards.

Bonsucro Week 2013 took place in the heart of the US sugar industry – Louisiana. The week included the Farmer Day, which took in visits to the John Deere plant at Thibodaux and the US Department of Agriculture research centre at Houma. Raceland Sugar Mill was the main destination for the Industrial Day, followed by the historic Oak Alley Plantation, situated by the banks of the Mississippi river, which gave participants another chance to see sugarcane harvesting, Louisiana-style, in action. The final stop was to the Louisiana Sugar Refinery.

The Farmer Working Group brought together over 30 farmers from 9 countries, while the Production Standard’s revision was debated and discussed by a wide array of stakeholders.

Over 130 people from a diverse and broad range of organisations and companies gathered to learn from 24 of some of the most influential individuals from the global sugarcane industry and the sustainability world, who featured on stage under the theme of ‘New Markets, New Opportunities’.