25th October 2021
With 35 out of 54 countries producing sugarcane, Africa is a major region for the crop. Advancing responsible practices among African producers is vital to our collective journey to transform the sector. There are currently 12 sugar mills that are Bonsucro members in eight different countries across Africa.
But as the market varies between countries, so does the focus on sustainable sugarcane. Countries that export, such as Mauritius, tend to be more exposed to international sustainability requirements than countries that produce for local markets only. Besides, sugar mills that supply to multi-nationals are increasingly expected to prove their sustainability credentials.
For Bonsucro, one country that has stood out in recent years is Mauritius, with Omnicane becoming the first Bonsucro certified African mill.
Two years after its certification, we’re pleased to see Omnicane achieve another regional milestone; it has completed the first sale of Bonsucro raw sugar credits from Africa.
A sustainability-driven sugar producer
For Omnicane, Bonsucro certification was the result of a long-standing commitment to sustainability. Beyond guaranteeing the sustainability of its supply chain, the adoption of the Bonsucro Standard has provided an opportunity to engage in a process of continual improvement of its performance within its agricultural and milling operations.
“Following our Bonsucro certification in 2019, our agricultural operations have worked in close collaboration with the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute (MSIRI), and we significantly reduced the herbicides application rate within our fields.
We are also closely monitoring the economic, social and environmental indicators within the Bonsucro Standard both at farm and mill levels. I can also say that adoption of the Bonsucro Standard brings an extra motivation for our personnel who can feel a sense of stewardship towards sustainability in their actions,” says CEO Jacques M. d’Unienville.
Alongside Bonsucro, Omnicane adopted other standards such as Fairtrade and ISO: “that will further contribute to strengthening the sustainability credentials and competitiveness of our sugar on the international market. We hope that the benefits we are deriving from Bonsucro certification will inspire and motivate other sugarcane farms within our factory area to embark onto this journey.”
New opportunities through the Bonsucro Credit Trading platform
To sell its physical stock of Bonsucro certified sugar at a premium, Omnicane has been supported by the Mauritius Sugar Syndicate, which is responsible for the marketing of Mauritian sugar. But while the COVID-19 pandemic impacted physical sales on the global market, the Bonsucro Trading Platform has offered an alternative marketplace for the producer:
“In the present context, the Bonsucro Credit Trading platform provided a good opportunity to effectively connect us with Barry Callebaut.
Bonsucro credits open new avenues for us to market the sustainability credentials of our sugar. It gives us the opportunity to make a positive virtual contribution towards a global sustainable sugar supply chain. Furthermore, the sale brings an additional source of revenue for our sugar segment, and hence contributes directly to improving the competitivity of our sugar on the global market.
While this is a premiere for Omnicane, we hope that this first sale of Bonsucro sugar credits will pave the way for us to partner with more sugar buyers who have taken bold commitments in terms of sustainable sourcing.”
The sale of Bonsucro credits has a knock-on effect on a wider community of producers, as a portion of fees are invested in local initiatives for other farms and mills to adopt more sustainable practices.
“The African sugarcane sector can benefit from promoting sustainability. Milestones like the first credit sale helps to demonstrate that investment in sustainability pays off and that big international buyers are interested in certified material from the region. I am confident that certified sugarcane sales will continue to increase in Africa” says Boudewijn Goossens, Regional Director, Africa & Middle East at Bonsucro.
The Credit Trading Platform is also beneficial for buyers by helping them to meet their sustainable sourcing targets, while rewarding certified producers for their practices.
“Barry Callebaut is excited to purchase the first credits from a leading mill in Africa that also demonstrated real improvement and impact through their journey to certification. In so doing we are collaboratively achieving Barry Callebaut’s Forever Chocolate goals,” said Kevin Ogorzalek, Senior Manager, Sustainability Sourcing at Barry Callebaut.
Visit the Bonsucro Credit Trading Platform
We firmly believe in the potential of Bonsucro credits to accelerate sustainability in Africa and invite everyone interested to visit the platform.
- If you are an African sugarcane producer who would like to learn more about how you can benefit from Bonsucro certification and credit trading, get in touch with Boudewijn Goossens at firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are a buyer who wants to support sustainable sugarcane production around the globe, learn how the Bonsucro Credit Trading Platform works for you.