General FAQs

What is Bonsucro?

Bonsucro was born out of the Better Sugarcane Initiative, a global multi-stakeholder non-profit organisation dedicated to reducing the environmental and social impacts of sugar cane production which links its name to a product, process or service that has been certified by an independent certification body as being in compliance with the Bonsucro standard. It is the first global metric standard for sugar cane.

What is the purpose of Bonsucro?

To transform the sugar cane industry.

What is the vision of Bonsucro?

A sugarcane sector that is continuously improving and verified as sustainable.

What is the mission of Bonsucro?

Bonsucro fosters the sustainability of the sugarcane sector through a metric-based certification scheme and by supporting continuous improvement for members.

 

Why a sustainable initiative for the sugar cane industry?

Consumers, NGO’s and governmental institutions expect more and more that the products they buy are responsibly produced. Like other agricultural sectors, the sugar cane sector is facing social and environmental challenges. The members of Bonsucro believe that an independent mainstream certification program is an important tool to address these challenges.

What is sustainability in the sugar cane industry?

Better practices on farm field level and transparency in the supply chain will lead to a more sustainable sugar cane industry. The Bonsucro standard is a tool which addresses the five biggest social and environmental impacts from sugar cane: legal compliance, biodiversity and ecosystem impacts, human rights, production and processing, and continuous improvement.

What are the sustainability pillars of the Bonsucro standard?

Bonsucro focuses on issues in the sugar cane production in five categories:
1. Legal compliance
2. Biodiversity and ecosystem impacts
3. Human rights
4. Production and processing
5. Continuous improvement

Key indicators for each of these categories have been identified to ensure that the Bonsucro standard addresses the most significant issues.

Bonsucro is a member of the ISEAL Alliance, what does that mean?

The ISEAL Alliance is the global association for social and environmental standards. ISEAL builds an understanding of good practices for standards systems and sets internationally applicable good practice guidance for the implementation of credible standards systems. Bonsucro is an Associate Member of the ISEAL Alliance and is following the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the Impacts Code.

What makes the Bonsucro standard a credible standard?

Bonsucro is a collaboration of sugar retailers, end-users (companies who purchase sugar and derived products) investors, traders, producers and NGO’s who are committed to sustainable sugar production by establishing principles and criteria that are applied in the sugar cane growing regions of the world. By bringing numerous stakeholders together, all with differing perspectives, to develop and comment on the Standard, Bonsucro was able to develop a platform that offered a multi-sector perspective. In addition, Bonsucro was able to pilot the standard in a variety of places to ground truth that the better management practices drove transformational and measurable change on the ground.

To achieve this as many stakeholders as possible were encouraged to comment on the Standard and Bonsucro embarked on a series of global Stakeholder Outreach Meetings, engaging in face-to-face, field and factory meetings with producers and small-scale growers in: Australia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, East Africa, South Africa, India, the European Union and Switzerland. Over the same period, an auditor conducted pilot studies using the Standard in Australia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, South Africa and India. The results of these audits gave a representative view of typical mill and field indicator values. These values have been factored into the Standard.

The Bonsucro standard addresses the five biggest social and environmental impacts from sugar cane: legal compliance, biodiversity and ecosystem impacts, human rights, production and processing, and continuous improvement. Key indicators for each of these categories have been identified to ensure that the Bonsucro standardaddresses the most significant issues.

In addition, Bonsucro complies with ISEAL specifications. The ISEAL Alliance is the global association for social and environmental standards. ISEAL builds an understanding of good practices for standards systems and sets internationally applicable good practice guidance for the implementation of credible standards systems.

How does this standard relate to other sustainability initiatives in agriculture?

The Bonsucro standard is the first ever metric based standard developed for an agricultural feedstock. The continued development of the Standard will enable the provision of a clear set of principles, criteria, indicators and verifiers which collectively amount to set of metrically measurable targets which will enable sugar cane producers, processers and suppliers to improve their social and environmental operations. Bonsucro is a mainstream initiative using a demand driven approach and aims to be complementary to other sustainability initiatives in agriculture and specifically in sugar cane.

How is Bonsucro a mainstream programme?

The Bonsucro programme is a mainstream model, which means that it is compatible with the existing market structure and aims for improvement that is realistic to expect for a significant market share through a credible and meaningful standard.

What is the impact of the Bonsucro program?

By helping sugar cane producers implement good agricultural practices and farm management, they become better farmers. This results in increased yield, better quality, less impact on the environment, better social working circumstances and a more efficient way of production, leading to an increased income.

When will Bonsucro certified products be available?

Bonsucro certified sugar and ethanol has been available since June 2011.