4th August 2021
Brazilian company Spinagro produces pre-sprouted sugarcane seedlings and has become the first organisation in the country to be certified against the Bonsucro Smallholder Standard. It is also the world’s first national producer of Bonsucro certified pre-sprouted seedlings (MPBs) to be certified against Bonsucro Smallholder Standard.
Located in the city of Batatais, which is in the state of São Paulo, the company produces 4.5 million of seedlings per year which are sent to nine different Brazilian states.
Since the start of its production in 2017, Spinargo has tripled its annual production. But the growth doesn’t stop here; the team intends to double this and start farming cachaça, which comes from the extracting buds from the MPB production process.
For Spinagro, Bonsucro certification was a great way to differentiate in the market and demonstrate compliance. “We were able to show that our process is fully compliant with international social and environmental standards, and traded product standards,” says Laura Vicentini, CEO.
The journey to Bonsucro certification
To conduct the Bonsucro certification process, the team hired a certification support company, Agroverde Consultoria. Rodrigo Spina, CFO at Spinagro, explains: “This gave us a more comprehensive overview of all the opportunities offered by certification. Through this support, we were able to implement changes such as recurring training on management and sustainability, employee training in specific areas such as health and safety and choosing partners for issues like waste disposal.”
Tools like the Bonsucro Calculator offered Spinagro tangible numbers and insights on its practices, such as the use of natural resources and biological products which facilitated the transformation process. “We entered this data into the calculator which translated it in certification scores. This showed us that we were on the right path,” says Laura Vicentini, the CEO.
One of the team’s key learnings was the importance of continually improving; something the management communicates to employees on a daily basis. Teams were mobilised to record all activities, making it easy to communicate data.
Rodrigo sees Bonsucro certification as a great way to strengthen relationships with customers who share their vision: “We now have a real vision of our business’ sustainability, and this helps us communicate this to the market and to our customers. This will open doors for new negotiations.”
Beyond sustainable sugarcane, Spinagro is looking at ways to lower its environmental footprint through energy usage. In the future, it will aim to reduce its consumption from the grid by co-generating electricity and becoming self-sufficient.
Spinagro is one of the two field trip options for attendees at Bonsucro Global Week in Brazil in 2022. If you’d like to visit the farm, book your ticket to the event.