Ferrero reaches 100% sustainable sugarcane sourcing

29th July 2021

The movement for sustainable sugarcane is celebrating a new milestone as Ferrero reached its goal to source 100% of its refined cane sugar sustainably.

Tackling environmental and social issues in sugarcane

As global sugarcane production increases, it brings a range of socio-economic challenges, such as poor working conditions, low wages and poor health and safety. The supply chain can also have negative environmental impacts, including loss of biodiversity and pollution of land and water.

By sourcing 100% sustainable sugarcane, Ferrero aims to tackle these issues together with producing communities and other responsible companies.

Collaboration has been a vital driver of Ferrero’s sustainability journey and the company has developed long-standing partnerships with trusted suppliers. Over the years, the team has systematically evaluated available certification schemes to understand their robustness, impact, resource and cost efficiency to expand its sustainable sugarcane supply chain.

Ferrero became a Bonsucro member in 2010 and in 2014 it was awards Bonsucro’s inaugural leadership award for its active participation in the development of a sustainable sugarcane industry.

Initially aiming to reach 100% sustainable cane sugar by the end of 2020, Ferrero reached its target a few months ahead of schedule last year. As much as possible, the Group favours purchasing Bonsucro certified cane sugar and Altromercato, an Italian organisation supporting smallholder cane growers in Mauritius through a Fairtrade supply chain.

Leading by example

As one of the biggest chocolate-producing companies in the world, Ferrero can influence meaningful change with its suppliers and its leadership helps to drive improvement at many different sugarcane origins Because of its market importance, it can also inspire others to follow suit.

“Ferrero has worked with its suppliers for many years to drive Bonsucro certification,” says Rafael Seixas, Bonsucro’s Membership Manager. “Its long-term commitment and effort were critical, not only to achieving its sustainable sourcing goals, but also to promoting continuous improvement in social, environmental and economic performance of sugarcane supply chains, which include for example workers’ health and safety, carbon emissions, water use, agrochemical use, and more.”

If the biggest companies can look at their supply chains and ensure that 100% of their sugarcane comes from sustainable sources, there’s no question that other companies can do the same. It proves it’s possible and goals can even be achieved early.

 It’s time for industrywide change

Sustainability is a key issue of our time. As upcoming regulations in developed countries bring stricter requirements for supply chain due diligence and human rights, it is more urgent than ever that other Consumer Good Manufacturers follow suit. “Whereas supply chain sustainability was best business practice years ago, it will become mandatory, and companies need to be ready to adapt and to engage their supply chains in positive change,” says Rafael.

With the climate crisis already impacting us and food systems accounting for one third of global carbon emissions, responsible sourcing of all commodities is an urgent matter for both the planet and for business. Earlier this year, a report by CDP revealed environmental supply chain risks could cost companies $120bn by 2026.

There is also a growing spotlight on social and labour issues in global supply chains, with a greater expectation for transparency. Besides legal compliance, working with suppliers towards sustainability has important reputational benefits as well as helping to build longer and stronger business relationships, which ultimately have an impact on business resilience and performance.

Organisations like Bonsucro can help companies identify and reduce environmental and social risks, and work with suppliers to address those issues.

If like Ferrero, your company aims for a sustainable sugarcane supply chain, join hundreds of industry peers as a Bonsucro member and start sourcing certified sustainable sugarcane. Learn more about the benefits of Bonsucro membership and get in touch with our Membership Manager Rafael Seixas.