Bonsucro Production Standard Transition Policy

Transition period

The Bonsucro Production Standard (BPS) v5.1 was published on 17 January 2022 to replace BPS v4.2. The validity of version 4.2 of the Bonsucro Production Standard has been extended to 1 December 2023, meaning operators can choose which version of the Production Standard they are audited against (provided the audit starts on or before 1 December 2023). We have published a transition policy that outlines the rules and criteria supporting the decision of the extension. It will also support operators and certification bodies with the transition from version 4.2 to version 5.1.


The transition period will facilitate the transition of operators to the new standard (BPS v5.1) by giving them more time to prepare, and  provide Bonsucro additional time to finalise the interim revision of BPS v5.1, to improve the clarity of requirements within the standard and its alignment with the Implementation Guide.  

Some sugarcane producers are being audited and certified against version 5.1 of the Bonsucro Production Standard. However, some producers felt they needed longer to prepare. Inclusivity is one of our core principles, so we listened to this feedback and have extended the validity of version 4.2 to accommodate all of our certified members. The year-long extension gives producers more time to prepare, use our training materials, and make the necessary changes. However, we urge our members to opt for version 5.1 of the Standard where possible. 

Since publishing the revised Standard, we have received reports of errors in the Standard. These range from typos to clarifications on time periods and units of measurements. We have tracked these in our errata log which is public and open for anyone to view. In order to address these, we have started an interim revision of version 5.1 of the Production Standard. In this process, we will improve the clarity of requirements within the Standard and its alignment with the Implementation Guide. The new extended transition period give us more time to ensure that the interim revision captures all the necessary changes.  

The table above offers an overview of the validity of the different standards until the end of 2023.  It highlights how the Standards will coexist during the transition period. It also outlines the timing for developing version 5.2 of the Standard which will launch in June 2023. The roll out phase in the second half of 2023 gives time for training and implementation before the auditing period starts in December 2023.

The preferred standard at Bonsucro is the BPS v5.1 which went through a credible multi-stakeholder revision process, including two public consultations. Bonsucro encourages operators to implement, be audited and be certified against BPS v5.1 during the transition period because: 

  • BPS v5.1 enables farmers and mills to meet current social and environmental challenges. 
  • It is expected that operators who choose to implement BPS v5.1 during the transition period will be better prepared to transition to the revised version of BPS v5.2 expected in 2023. 

Transition Policy

The Bonsucro Production Standard transition policy is designed to support operators and certification bodies with the extension of version 4.2 of the Production Standard. It will also support them to transition from version 4.2 to version 5.1 of the Bonsucro Production Standard.

The policy outlines the rules of the transition period, for example, any projects run by Bonsucro that connect to the Production Standard will use version 5.1, and certification bodies will audit against the Production Standard chosen by the operator.  

The transition policy also includes rules for audits – for example it states that once an operator has been audited, “the subsequent audit shall be against the same or a newer version of the standard.” Or in other words, you cannot move backwards. This is to fit with our commitment to continuous improvement. 

We encourage all producers and certification bodies to download and read the transition policy carefully.

Download Transition Policy




Further information