ALUR aims to adopt sustainable practices in Uruguay

23rd May 2022

Alcoholes del Uruguay S.A. (ALUR), an agro-industrial company in Uruguay, has launched a project in partnership with Solidaridad and Bonsucro to certify its mill, Bella Union, and almost 300 farmers.

The sugarcane supplied to ALUR is produced by farmers on land ranging from 5 to 200 hectares. As such, the goal is to certify against our Production Standard and the Smallholder Standard by 2023.

ALUR wants to use the project to develop a process of continuous improvement aligned with economic, environmental, and social sustainability in sugarcane production in Uruguay.

Project kick-off

At the end of April, ALUR hosted a week-long workshop at mill Bella Union to launch the project. Representatives from la Instituto Nacional de Colonización, Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Intendencia de Artigas, Solidaridad and Bonsucro attended the meeting.

The week of the workshop, ALUR took the first step on its certification journey and applied to join Bonsucro. Once the candidacy period is over and ALUR is welcomed to our membership, Bonsucro will have members in every sugarcane producing country in Latin America.

Miguel Hernandez, our Director of Latin America said,

“The Bonsucro project at ALUR is very important, since both the mill Bella Unión and the sugarcane farmers, will have access to metrics that will allow them to know the positive impact of implementing sustainable and socially responsible practices in the production and processing of sugarcane. Continuous improvement will be very beneficial to the community at Bella Union.”

The event in Uruguay was an interesting opportunity to share information about Bonsucro, how the Standards work, and details of the biggest impacts of certification. It was also a chance to understand the operations at mill Bella Union, meet the team, and offer support to the mill and the farmers.

Raízen, one of our biggest members in Brazil, also attended the workshop to provide a learning opportunity. Raízen was the first mill to achieve Bonsucro certification in 2011 and has gone on to certify 24 of its mills. The team shared their extensive experience and established a knowledge transfer between ALUR and Raízen.

Members of the Raízen team also presented details of their ELO programme – a voluntary sustainability initiative for their suppliers. The ELO initiative was benchmarked against our Production Standard (V4.2) in 2019, the result was an intermediate alignment.

What next?

Over the coming months, ALUR will implement the Production Standard. One of the first steps in this process will be performing a gap assessment and delivering training sessions for both farmers and mill workers. Solidaridad will provide technical support for the adoption of good practices by using a mobile app called ‘Extension Solution‘, which helps monitor the process of continuous improvement. Amanda Barboza, Business Coordinator at Solidaridad said,

“We are enthusiastic to contribute to the promotion of sustainable sugarcane production in Uruguay. It is amazing to be part of such a project involving all levels of ALUR and, at the same time, give farmers a voice to participate in strategy building!”

Are you a sugarcane producer who wants to adopt sustainable practices? Learn more about Bonsucro certification and contact our team to get started.