Bonsucro Production Standard for Smallholder Farmers Launched

12th June 2018

Adapting the Production Standard for the smallholder context

We’re delighted to announce that the new Bonsucro Production Standard for Smallholder Farmers is now available for the sugarcane industry.

Bonsucro’s vision is a sugarcane sector with thriving, sustainable producer communities and resilient, assured supply chains. Our Production Standard is the most credible and widely accepted sustainability standard for sugarcane, and is the principal tool for achieving Bonsucro’s vision.

Smallholder farmers are the crucial foundation of many sugarcane supply chains around the world. To date, the participation of smallholders in the Bonsucro certification process has been limited, as the realities of smallholding sugarcane production differ from larger farms. This meant it was difficult to apply parts of the Production Standard to small-scale sugarcane agriculture.

In order to make sure that Bonsucro’s vision is truly achievable and inclusive, and considering the beneficial impact of sustainability for smallholder farmers and their dependent supply chains, Bonsucro embarked on a review of the Bonsucro Production Standard in the smallholder context.

This has culminated in the new Production Standard for Smallholder Farmers – an adaptation of the Bonsucro Production Standard, and this will ultimately support the uptake of the Bonsucro Principles and Criteria for sustainable sugarcane farming around the world.

What’s in the Standard?

The Bonsucro Production Standard for Smallholder Farmers covers environmental, social, and economic sustainability with performance-based indicators specifically designed for application to sugarcane production.

This is not a reduction of the Production Standard. There are non-core indicators that have been removed, but the scope of the core indicators has remained the same, ensuring Bonsucro certified farms mean, for example, compliance with ILO conventions, no use of banned agrochemicals, and environmental and health and safety plans. There are also new requirements added in Principle 7 that are specific for smallholder farmers, including ‘stepwise’ indicators – a feature that Bonsucro is increasingly working towards – in order to encourage continuous improvement.

The Standard is accompanied by the Smallholder Group Calculator – developed for smallholders to demonstrate compliance with the Standard, along with a Farm Diary (email to get access to these documents).

Get Started

  • If you’re interested in certifying using this Standard, get in touch with a Licensed CB to arrange a pre-audit or audit
  • The Bonsucro Production Standard for Smallholder Farmers + Calculator will be included in Bonsucro Technical Week training – see upcoming Technical Weeks
  • Bonsucro will be translating the Standard & Calculator into Spanish and several other key languages
  • Join the webinar on Friday 15 June


Join our webinar to hear more about the Standard

Friday 15 June 2018 
GMT Summer Time 

(London, GMT+01:00)

Sign up

Download the Standard & Quick Guide

The Production Standard for Smallholder Farmers is available to download from the Bonsucro website:

Download the Standard

Download Quick Guide

Standard Development Process

Bonsucro is a full member of ISEAL and conducted the process in-line with the ISEAL Standard Setting Code of Good Practice and Bonsucro’s Standard Development and Revision Procedures. You can find the key development documents here.

The development process had three main phases:

  1. Review: The Bonsucro Production Standard was reviewed for the smallholder context where we collected feedback on proposed suitability concerns of the existing Bonsucro Production Standard and Bonsucro Calculator.
  2. Standard Development: The Standard was drafted by the secretariat with critical input from the Smallholder Steering Committee. Drafts were shared on the website, the scope of changes was restricted to improvements for the smallholder context.
  3. Public Consultations and On-Farm Pilots: Well over 200 comments received with global participation. Thank you to our pilot partners for hosting:
    1. Thai Roong Ruang Sugar Group (TRR) Saraburi mill and supplying farms (Thailand)
    2. Baramati Agro and supplying farms (India)
    3. Consorcio Azucarero de Empresas Industriales (CAEI) Cristobal Colon mill and supplying farms (Dominican Republic)