Bonsucro, as a multi-stakeholder organisation, seeks to engage stakeholders when changes are proposed and made to our standards. Here you will find detailed information about this process and current work on standards development, as well as information on how these key documents were created.

Current Revisions

Bonsucro Production Standard V5 (2022)

The Bonsucro Production Standard is at the heart of everything Bonsucro does. It sets out a definition of what sustainable cane production should look like, providing a comprehensive metric tool for sustainable farming and milling. We want to maximise the impact the Standard has on the future of the sugarcane sector and also enhance the value added for the producers who implement, use and comply with it.

That’s why revised the Standard to ensure that it is still as robust, credible and comprehensive as possible.

The revised Bonsucro Production Standard was published in January 2022.

Since the last revision of the Standard, in 2014, sustainability has evolved a great deal. We gained a greater understanding of the sustainability issues present in sugarcane production and processing, and what can be achieved with certification. We also monitored the feedback on the Bonsucro Production Standard and Calculator, ranging from small (spelling or grammar mistakes in the Standard) all the way to the fundamental (indicators not being relevant or not going far enough). The objective of this Standard Revision is to capture all this information and priorities set by our stakeholders to bring them into the revised Standard.

Standard Revision Process

The Bonsucro Standard Development and Revision Procedure, based on the ISEAL Standard Setting Code, defines how a standard should be developed, structured and revised. It requires multi-stakeholder consultation and decision-making, and ensures clear and auditable conditions in the standard itself. The process was driven by stakeholder led Standard Revision Working Group and supported by the Technical Advisory Board (TAB) and the Members Council (MC). The terms of reference (TOR) of the Standard Revision Working Group are available to download here.
Standard Development and Revision Procedure. You can also download the Production Standard revision Terms of Reference.

Revision Governance

For the Standard Revision, a dedicated governance body titled the Standard Revision Working Group was formed. It was made of an independent group of experts (appointed by the TAB) that will developed the new Standard. Below is a breakdown of the roles and responsibilities’ of each body.

Actor Role played in the standard revision Composition
Bonsucro Board
  • Provided strategic direction for the organisation
  • Approved final versions of Bonsucro Standards.
  • Oversaw revision process
Independent Board
Technical Advisory Board
  • Prepared TOR for the Standard Revision
  • Approved the Work Program for the development or revision of Bonsucro Standards;
  • Selected Working Group
  • Analysed and consolidates inputs from stakeholders
  • Verified the process is respected
Independent appointed experts.

 

Members Council Provided views, advice, recommendations and informed opinions to the TAB and Working Group 15 individuals designated as Elected Members and up to 10 individuals co-opted by them. These individuals may be individuals who are members and/or individuals who represent organisations that are members.
Bonsucro Secretariat
  • Coordinated, organises and prepares the standards development
  • Drafted the Standard and ToR
  • Coordinated the WG meetings
  • Analysed and consolidates inputs from stakeholders
  • Coordinated work with external experts
  • Coordinated pilots
  • Communicated around the Standard Revision
Bonsucro staff
Standard Revision Working Group
  •  Approved the TOR
  • Discussed, make recommendation on  development work
  • Analysed and consolidates inputs from stakeholders
  • Made decisions on the content of the standard (indicator level)
  • Approved draft versions of Bonsucro Standards.
It is proposed that the Standard Revision Working group will be comprised of 9-12 members.  5 to 8 independent experts, 1 CB expert, 2 MC designated members and 1 TAB designated member.
Stakeholders
  • Invited to participate in the stakeholder consultation.
  • Gave feedback on the Bonsucro Standard development during public consultation periods.
  • Assisted Bonsucro in developing meaningful consultation sessions with impacted stakeholders (e.g. farmers, workers, local communities, other partners outside of Bonsucro’s membership)
Producers, Technical Assistants, NGOs, Processors, Traders, Retailers, Governmental institutions, Representatives of workers, communities
Standard Revision Working Group (SRWG)

The Standard Revision process was driven by a small group of experts and stakeholder representatives – the Standard Revision Working Group (SRWG). This was an independent group of experts (appointed by the Technical Advisory Board) that developed the revised Standard. The SRWG had the following responsibilities:

  • Approving the TOR
  • Discussing & making recommendation on development work
  • Analysing and consolidating inputs from stakeholders
  • Taking decisions on the content of the Standard (indicator level)
  • Approving draft versions of Bonsucro Standards.

Working Group Members

NameCompanyTitleCountryMore info
Cristina C. LópezFundacion del OtroConsultantArgentinaBiography
Robert QuirkN/AAustralian FarmerAustraliaBiography
Danielle LimaControl UnionTechnical ManagerBrazilBiography
Luiz IaquintaBrookfield Asset ManagementVice PresidentBrazilBiography
Miguel Tejada IraizozIndependent ConsultantConsultantColombiaBiography
Ruth AscencioN/AIndependent ConsultantHondurasBiography
Olivia ScholtzHCV NetworkSenior Project ManagerUKBiography
Kendyl SalcitoNomoGaiaExecutive DirectorUSABiography
Ilana WeissLa Isla NetworkSenior Director of policy and Public HealthUSABiography
Mario Amador (Members' Council representative)CNPAPresidentNicaraguaBiography

Working Group Selection Matrix

  • Understanding of Bonsucro and the environment in which the organisation operates;
  • Experience of working directly on the ground, implementing the Bonsucro Production Standard.
  • Proficiency in the issues related to sugarcane, and ability to propose innovative solutions.
  • Experience in similar revision processes (desired).
  • Ensure balance between different geographies, expertise, stakeholder group (farmer, mill, NGO, buyer) expertise, (social, environmental, certification) so no group can
  • Ability to dedicate an appropriate amount of time to the Working Group.
  • Attendance to Working Group meetings (both physical and web-based) and adequate preparation for meetings and discussions; –
  • Availability early July for the first in-person meeting.
  • Ability to listen to other points of view and go beyond individual and organisational perspectives in order to reach broad consensus on what is the best interest of Bonsucro

Phases

Timeline

Phase 1: Pre-consultation

The secretariat conducted pre-consultation with the whole membership/stakeholder base, to establish the scope of the revision, the issues the revision should consider, if existing indicators are fit for purpose and incorporate all known issues identified between standard revision period.  

The pre consultation will consisted of three information gathering processes 

  • Pre-consultation workshop during Bonsucro Global Week 2019
  • Online survey for stakeholders / membership 
  • Analysis of clarification questions / interpretation notes / updates ticketing. 

The online pre consultation survey focused on:   

  • Focus of the Standard (structure, how it looks to implement change, etc) 
  • Strengthening / Introducing new requirements to the Standard 
  • Review of all indicators  
  • Free text to collect views on what to include in the Bonsucro Production Standard.   

Phase 2: Standard Development Phase

The Standard Revision Working Group and the Bonsucro Secretariat worked on the development of the version 5 of the Production Standard and Bonsucro Calculator using the scope of the Standard Revision developed by the TAB. This was the main phase of the Standard Development and it will be where issues are highlighted and indicators developed.

Phase 3 - Public Consultation

After the launch of first draft of the Production Standard and Calculator, there was a 60 days’ public comment period. In order to ensure that we consulted by all of the parties, Bonsucro secretariat:

  • Translated the Draft Bonsucro Production Standard into Spanish and Portuguese
  • Held webinars to explain the main changes and how to make comments (in 3 languages)
  • Set consultation response targets

All comments were publicly available (anonymised).

Phase 4 - 2nd Draft Development phase & 2nd Public consultation

Comments received during the 60 days were analysed and shared with the Standard Revision Working Group and the Technical Advisory Board. These involved the second and potentially last stage of the development of the Standard and calculator. A second draft was developed and published online for a second round of comments and undertake pilot audits.

Phase 5 - Pilot Audits

After the release of the second draft of the public consultation, pilot audits were be carried out in different regions to test out the auditability of the revised standard and calculator.


ISEAL Code Compliant

Bonsucro is ISEAL Code Compliant. Our system has been independently evaluated against ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice– a globally-recognised framework for effective, credible sustainability systems. The three Codes of Good Practice focus on the core elements of a sustainability standard:

  • The ISEAL Standard-setting Code defines how a standard should be developed, structured and revised. It requires multi-stakeholder consultation and decision-making and ensures clear and auditable conditions in the standard itself.
  • The ISEAL Assurance Code provides a clear framework for assessing compliance with standards. It encourages assurance that is rigorous and accessible, ensuring accurate and transparent results.
  • The ISEAL Impacts Code supports robust monitoring and evaluation systems. It provides standards with a roadmap to measure progress against sustainability goals and to improve practices over time.

Standard Development and Revision Procedure

The Bonsucro Standard Development and Revision Procedure defines how a standard should be developed, structured and revised. It requires multi-stakeholder consultation and decision-making, and ensures clear and auditable conditions in the standard itself.

Standard Development and Revision Procedure

The public review and revision process for the Standard and Revision Procedure takes place every five years. The next review is scheduled for 2022. For each review and revision process, the Bonsucro Secretariat prepares the draft revisions and coordinates the revision process.

Bonsucro welcomes comments on the Standard Development and revision procedure at any time. Comments will be incorporated into the next review process. Please submit comments via email to info@bonsucro.com

Standard Revision Work Programme

StandardVersionLast Review CommencedLast Review ConcludedNext Review ScheduledNext Review Scheduled to conclude
Bonsucro Production StandardV4.2 Jul-12Mar-14Mar-19Dec-21
Bonsucro Mass Balance Chain of Custody Standard V5.1Sep-18
Mar-19
Mar-24Sep-24
Bonsucro Production Standard for Smallholder Farmers
V1.0
Mar-17
Jun-18
Jun-23
Bonsucro EU RED StandardV1.0Jun-21* the Bonsucro EU RED Standard revision is guided by European Union Renewable Energy Directive procedures and revision schedule

* last update November 2021

All stakeholders are available to comment officially at the public consultation phase which follows the release of every draft revised or new standard.

Standard Revision Documents

Bonsucro Production Standard V4

In line with ISEAL best practices, that the standards remain relevant and reflect stakeholder understanding of good sustainability practices, the Bonsucro Production Standard V4.2 revision commenced in March 2019.

Should you have queries/comments on the standard please send it through email (info@bonsucro.com) at any time (even outside consultation period) and we will revert to you as soon as possible. All related issues regarding the content of the standard will be logged as comments for future revisions.

Standard Revision Process for March 2014 (Production Standard)

Background to the development of the Initial Bonsucro Production Standard

Background to the development of the Initial Bonsucro Production Standard

The Bonsucro Production Standard is the first ever metric based Standard which measures the impact of the sustainable production of sugar cane. In 2008, the BSI (now Bonsucro) established three Technical Working Groups (TWG’s). The expert groups cover the areas of (1) social and labor issues, (2) processing/mill issues and (3) agronomic practices. The experts are from the sugar cane producing areas and reflect a balance of interest groups and global representation.

The period of public consultation for Version 1 of the Bonsucro Production Standard was 60 days (in accordance with ISEAL) and the deadline for receipt of comments was 30th April 2009. Individuals, NGO’s, producers, farmers, small scale growers and companies took the time to comment. The comments received and initial observations and responses from the leaders of the Technical Working Groups can be found in the Public Comment section of this website.

As many stakeholders as possible were encouraged to comment on the Standard and the BSI embarked on a series of Stakeholder Outreach Meetings, engaging in face-to-face, field and factory meetings with producers and small-scale growers in: Australia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, East Africa, South Africa, India, the European Union and Switzerland. Over the same period, the same auditor conducted pilot studies using the Standard in Australia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, South Africa and India. The results of these audits gave a representative view of typical mill and field indicator values. These values have been factored into Version 2.

The process that was adopted to develop Version 2 was as follows: TWG leaders reviewed the feedback they had received to Version 1 from three sources – public comments made via the website, input from the Stakeholder Outreach Meetings, and the results from the pilot studies.

At the BSI’s Annual General Meeting 4-5 November the Supervisory Board, Management Committee and TWG leaders discussed the proposed changes and approved both the content and the process that was followed. The result was Version 2.

Over the past year, the TWG’s and BSI members conducted Stakeholder Outreach Meetings on Version 1 of the Standard and using the input of the small scale producers, processing and milling and the results of the pilot studies the BSI developed Version 2.

Version 2 of the Standard was then placed on the dedicated .com website for 60 days for public consultation, in accordance with ISEAL. The results from the public consultation were discussed at both the BSI’s Management Committee and Supervisory Board and Version 3 has now been produced and approved.

The BSI Standard is the first ever metric based standard developed for an agricultural feedstock. The continued development of the BSI Standard will enable the provision of a clear set of principles, criteria, indicators and verifiers which collectively amount to set of metrically measurable targets which will enable sugar cane producers, processors and suppliers to improve their social and environmental operations.

On the social front the Standard explicitly addresses such issues as forced and child labor as well as other social concerns identified by the International Labor Organization. (Please see the BSI Standard for precise details)

For the world’s sugar stakeholders, who need quantifiable improvements in the impacts of the sugar chain, BSI’s drive in utilising the best technical experts and the most advanced practices, provides a measurable framework to enable businesses in the sugar industry to reduce their environmental and social impacts.

Activities

In developing the Standard the BSI has been following the ISEAL Code of Good Practice.

Two 60 day public consultations were conducted along with Packard funded Stakeholder Outreach Program. The program was managed and presented by the leaders of the Technical Working Groups and key members of the BSI during the consultation phase which was completed by October 2009.

The reason for interaction between the Standard developers and stakeholders was to ensure the Standard was developed transparently and accepted by the stakeholders where it will impact on the most eg small and large scale farmers and millers. It was absolutely critical that the Stakeholder Outreach Meetings took place in situ in order to be able to assess the need for local variation and adaption of the Standard to local conditions. Pilot Audit studies were conducted in the same countries as the outreach meetings.

The Stakeholder Outreach Program complemented the virtual (online) public consultation version one and version two of the BSI Standard. The program was a series of Stakeholder Outreach Meetings in selected representative geographical regions. The meetings were held in India, Africa, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Australia, Switzerland and the European Union.

The audience of each of the meetings differed and consisted of invited representatives from producer groups eg millers, commercial growers, field workers, labor representatives and small scale farmers. (For example small scale Zulu farmers’ cooperatives in KwaZulu Natal).

In Brazil, the BSI worked with the co-operation of UNICA – the biggest sugar association, in India we partner with the Thirsty Crops project for small scale farmers and with EID Parry and the Indian Sugar Millers Association for large scale producers.

In Africa, the BSI partnered with the Swaziland Sugar Association the Noodsburg Co-operative (which includes small scale farmers) inter-alia, PANGEA and in the Dominican Republic with the producer members.

A typical agenda of such a meeting included interaction with an invited group of small-scale sugar cane farmers who were introduced to the Standard using a medium they felt most comfortable with. For example in India, a number of small scale farms were visited and this presented a real opportunity at a practical level to discuss with the farmers elements of the Standard such as water usage, irrigation systems, pesticide control and fertilizer usage.

Discussion then followed and this was facilitated, by a BSI Technical Working Group expert and local area sugar cane extension officers, to assess whether the indicator values within the Standard needed to be adjusted in accordance with local conditions or indeed whether new indicator values needed to be considered.

Users and intermediate users who are mainly based in the developed countries were also involved in the Stakeholder Outreach Meetings and a typical example of how such a meeting was organised as follows: Introduction: scene-setting presentations on the implications of Bio Fuel policies in the EU; followed by the implications for developing countries of expanding sugar cane production to meet new EU ethanol import requirements; the use of technology to measure and improve environmental sustainability (water, soil, air and conservation); a review of the BSI Standard Version One and the potential for implementation of the Standard – for example European ethanol and sugar importers.

A typical Stakeholder Outreach Meeting in Brazil consisted of UNICA convening the NGO’s, miller – grower companies who tend to be well developed to assess the Standard, and separate workshops were given to farm worker representatives to assess not only the technical aspects of the Standard and the social targets. In all these meetings, the BSI relied on the co-operation of its members to facilitate access.

At this stage, the Technical Working Groups of the BSI, through the Stakeholder Outreach Program were concerned in collating data which allowed universal verifiers eg (The Standard) to be captured in as far as possible with local variations identified where growing circumstances require it. This could only be achieved by concentrated field visits to the geographical regions the BSI identified.

Funding was required to enable the BSI to undertake these in-depth consultations which were necessary to ensure the transparency, integrity of the Standard and at the same time to encourage farming practice behavioral changes in order to meet the BSI Standard metric targets.

Global Stakeholder Outreach Programme

It was envisaged that the BSI would engage with over 120 different companies, NGO’s and farmers on a face-to-face basis.  However, the Better Sugar Cane Initiative’s face to face consultation period was exceeded by 700%.  The comments made at the Stakeholder Outreach Meetings were used to further develop the BSI Standard from version 1 to version 2.

Expert Groups

Agronomy

Name Title/Position Organisation Country
Dr A Bhatnagar Project Co-ordinator WWF – India
Colin Creighton Consultant & Coordinator, Managing Climate Variability Attached to Mackay Whitsunday Reef Catchments for this project Australia
Mr J Donzelli R&D Agronomy Co-ordinator Copersucar Technology Centre Brazil
Mr J Gawander CEO Sugar Research Institute of Fiji
Dr K.F. Ng Kee Kwong Director Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute Mauritius
Mr J Meyer Consultant -Soils and Nutrition Specialist Ex South African sugar cane Research Institute South Africa
Mr L Schulz Farm Owner Farmer South Africa
Mr P Turner Consultant Agronomy Team Leader BSI South Africa
Dr P Weerathaworn Research and Development Director Mitr Phol sugar cane Research Center Co., Ltd Thailand

 

Processing & Milling

Name Title/Position Organisation Country
Royce Bishop Chair of Mackay Whitsunday Natural Resource Management Group Inc. and Consulting Project Engineer Mackay Sugar Co-Operative Australia
Simon Houghton Dodd Tate + Lyle England
Tere Johnson QC Manager & Chief Chemist Sugar Cane Growers Coop of Florida USA
Andre Elia Neto CTC (UNICA representative) Brazil
Peter Rein Consultant and Professor Emeritus LSU England – Leader
Ramesh Ponnuswami VP Sugar Refining EID Parry Ltd India
Wirat Sangkawisit Executive Vice President – Production Mitr Phol Sugar Thailand
Dennis Walthew Knowledge Management Specialist Tongaat Hulett Sugar South Africa

 

Social

Name Title/Position Organisation Country
Maryline Guiramand Consultant Ec-Terra Switzerland
Marcia Azanha Ferraz Dias de Moraes Professor at Economics Administration and Sociology Department ESALQ-USP Brazil
Iza Barbosa UNICA Brazil
Wedzerai Chiyoka Consultant South Africa
Jan Maarten Dros Solidaridad Netherlands
Stuart Kyle Workplace Accountability Global Workplace Rights Coca-Cola USA
Elio Neves President Federacao dos Empregados Rurais Assalariados no Estado de Sao Paulo Brazil
I.S. Patil Shree Renuka Sugars India
Dr. Alice Woodhead Link Strategy Australia

Bonsucro Chain of Custody Standard V5

In line with ISEAL best practices, that the standards remain relevant and reflect stakeholder understanding of good sustainability practices, the Bonsucro Mass Balance Chain of Custody Standard V5.1 will be completely reviewed again commencing in March 2024.

Should you have queries/comments on the standard please send it through email (info@bonsucro.com) at any time (even outside consultation period) and we will revert to you as soon as possible. All related issues regarding the content of the standard will be logged as comments for future revisions.

ChoC Standard Revision Process October 2018:


Bonsucro Production Standard for Smallholder Farmers V1

Bonsucro Production Standard for Smallholder Farmers

In line with ISEAL best practices, that the standards remain relevant and reflect stakeholder understanding of good sustainability practices, the Bonsucro Production Standard for Smallholder Farmers V1.0 will be completely reviewed again commencing in June 2023.

Should you have queries/comments on the standard please send it through email (info@bonsucro.com) at any time (even outside consultation period) and we will revert to you as soon as possible. All related issues regarding the content of the standard will be logged as comments for future revisions.

Production Standard for Smallholder Standard Development Process June 2018:

Key Process Documents


Additional resources

Production Standard revision Terms of Reference

Minutes of the Standard Revision Working Group meeting  – July 2019

Minutes of Standard Revision Working Group meeting – October 2020

Minutes of Standard Revision Working Group meeting – December 2020

Minutes of Standard Revision Working Group meeting – March 2021

Minutes of Standard Revision Working Group meeting – July 2021

Living Wage report for Standard Revision

Lifecycle assessment review for Standard Revision

Bonsucro HCV gap analysis for Standard Revision

Results from the pre-consultation survey – Standard Revision Working Group presentation

Resultados de la pre consulta sobre la revisión del Estánder de Bonscuro 

Summary of comments – Bonsucro Production Standard Version 5.7