In July 2023, Bonsucro published the Bonsucro Production Standard v5.2 after carrying out an interim revision of version 5.1 of the Bonsucro Production Standard (BPS 5.1) to improve the clarity of requirements within the Standard and its alignment with the Implementation Guidance.
You can find a summary of the changes from BPS v5.1 to BPS v5.2 here.
The objective of this interim revision was to clarify, correct, and adjust the standard and associated documents based on the feedback from internal and external stakeholders since its publication. We analysed the feedback collected from channels such as:
- our Standards email address: email@example.com
- online question and answer sessions with members and non-members
- feedback from certification bodies and members from audits that were conducted against the BPS 5.1
- comments made by members to the Bonsucro team. If you want to know more about the methodology of the interim revision you can download the Terms of Reference (TOR) here.
The interim revision of the Production Standard version 5.1 was in line with clause 6.4. ‘Changes post publication’ from the Bonsucro Standard Development and Revision Procedure, version 1.5. As it was not a full revision, this interim revision did not undergo a public consultation. However, it included extensive input from stakeholders through various mechanisms.
Version 5.2 of the Production Standard will come into force on 2 December 2023. Until then, operators can choose to be audited against either Bonsucro Production Standard v4.2 or Bonsucro Production Standard v5.1. The preferred standard at Bonsucro is the Bonsucro Production Standard v5.1 which went through a credible multi-stakeholder revision process, including two public consultations. You can read more about the transition policy here.
The interim revision processed the relevant feedback on the new BPS v5.1 from its publication in January 2022 until March 2023.
The revision includes general feedback from stakeholders received since its publication in January 2022 until March 2023, including feedback to be collected during targeted consultations. Additionally, the interim revision considered feedback received from members that have been audited against BPS v5.1 between April 2022 and February 2023 as well as feedback from CBs that carried out these audits. The following graphic shows the general timeline for this interim revision:
The process for the interim revision is divided in three phases.
Phase I: Aug – Oct 2022
The feedback received from January 2022 to July 2022 was triaged by the Standards and Assurance team. Much of the feedback was related to tightening up and clarifying language for consistency in interpretation and implementation.
Some topics required escalation and the Standards and Assurance team passed them on to be addressed by the Bonsucro working group during August and September 2022. The working group gave a list of final recommendations to the Bonsucro Standards Committee, who in turn gave recommendations. Some of the suggestions were accepted by the Standards Committee, and some were marked as topics that need further research and/or input from experts. The Escalation List of topics that needed more input is available here.
Phase II Nov 2022 – July 2023
For the second phase, the feedback received between July 2022 and February 2023 was considered by the Standards and Assurance Team. Topics that weren’t addressed during phase one were added to the Escalation List and referenced as topics to be discussed or need further research. This included additional feedback received from August 2022 to November 2022. This escalation list is not exhaustive – topics from any future feedback received from December 2022 to February 2023, as well as from targeted consultations, pilots, and case studies.
Additional feedback was solicited related to audits that have been carried out against BPS v5.1, and a crosscheck between BPS v5.1 and related documents was included on the escalation list. Topics on the escalation list were addressed by the standards committee, and decisions were made on proposed changes or identification of further research needed.
Graphic 1 shows the methodology for this interim revision:
Phase III July 2023 – December 2023
After the publication version 5.2 in July, there will be a period of discussion and training before the new version comes into force on 2 December 2023.
Undertaking targeted consultations
The Interim revision is not a full revision, therefore no public consultation of BPS 5.2 was conducted; however, Bonsucro recognises the importance of getting wide stakeholder input for buy-in, as well as evaluating the feasibility of the implementation and the auditability of the new version of the BPS. For that objective, we consulted with CBs and chosen operators in different regions where Bonsucro is present.
You can find the consolidated feedback here.
Piloting the Standard
Bonsucro aims to conduct several pilot audits to test implementation and auditability of the Bonsucro Production Standard 5.1. The first pilots were set up in 2020, However due to the global pandemic only two pilot projects took place; one in India and the other one in Brazil.
Bonsucro has worked on the completion of these pilot, and will continue piloting in Australia, Mexico and Central America. The idea of the pilots was to conduct audits in different regions worldwide to collect relevant input to be used as input for the Interim Revision (2022-2023).
Bonsucro is aware that since 2022, some mills have already been audited and certified against BPS 5.1, so Bonsucro collected feedback from the auditees and certification bodies, to complete the analysis on implementation and auditability of the standard, i.e., to complete the information collected form the pilots.
The results of the pilots were aggregated and anonymised and can be found here.
Who are our Working Group and Standards Committee?
We created a Standards Committee (SC) that was composed of cross-cutting key areas of the organisation essential to the successful development and implementation of the standard. If they needed to, the Standards Committee could escalate queries or topics to our Members’ Council, Technical Advisory Board, and Board of Directors. For more information about the WG and SC meetings, please consult the list of documents and updates at the bottom of the page.
For Phase 1, the Standards Committee was composed by the following Bonsucro Staff:
For January-June 2023, the Standards Committee was still composed of Bonsucro staff with some changes in individuals:
The Bonsucro Production Standard working group:
Documents and notes about the interim revision of the Production Standard 5.1
Information from the Bonsucro Production Standard revision 2019-2021 is available here.
For all inquiries and feedback on any of the Bonsucro standards, revision processes or to request a hard copy of public summaries, standards or other related materials, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org