World’s First Bonsucro Certified Sugarcane Hits the Market

Bonsucro™ today announced that the world’s first impact based Standard has been used to certify the sustainable production of sugarcane. The sugarcane was produced at a Raízen mill in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the first certified sugar has been purchased by The Coca Cola Company’s bottling system. This marks the arrival of Bonsucro Certified products on the global market.

The Bonsucro environmental and social sustainability standard was used to certify the production of sugarcane at Raízen’s Maracaí mill in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Over 130,000 tons of sugar and 63,000 cubic metres of ethanol were certified against the Bonsucro Production Standard by independent certification body SGS.

Bonsucro’s Production Standard assesses the biodiversity, ecosystem and human rights impacts of sugarcane production and demands legal compliance and continuous improvement throughout the production process. This is assessed against key indicators, such as energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. Sugarcane mills are required to be members of Bonsucro and certificates are valid for three years, with annual audits.

“This first certification is the conclusion of five years collaboration between the world's biggest sugarcane producers, corporations and influential NGOs such as WWF. We are determined to promote the environmentally and socially responsible production of sugarcane. This robust certification system positions the Bonsucro Production Standard at the forefront of global sustainability practices and provides a standard against which the sustainability of sugarcane derived products can be assessed by consumers, companies, governments and NGOs,” said David Willers, General Manager, Bonsucro.

“Bonsucro’s Principles and Criteria are an important recognition of our commitment to sustainability in our operations, adding more value to our products, and encouraging Raízen’s leadership in the biofuels market and sugar in Brazil and in the world”, said Luiz Eduardo Osorio, Vice President for Sustainable Development and External Relations, Raízen.

“As a member of Bonsucro, we congratulate our Brazilian supplier, Raízen, for achieving the very first sugarcane mill certification. This is an important step in advancing more sustainable production practices. We're also delighted that a bottler from the global Coca-Cola system is the first in the world to purchase Bonsucro certified sugar.” Jacob Robbins, Managing Director, Global Sweeteners, The Coca-Cola Company.

Sugarcane is one of the most sustainable crops. But, as with other agricultural commodities, the industry faces social and environmental challenges related to biodiversity, ecosystems, human rights and production and processing. The members of Bonsucro™ believe that an independent mainstream certification programme is an important tool which can be used to measure and help to transform the social, environmental and economical challenges of the sugarcane industry.

“This will change the sugarcane industry forever,” said Kevin Ogorzalek, Program Officer, World Wildlife Fund and Chairman of the Bonsucro Board. “Certification will drive the industry to greater sustainability, thereby preserving natural resources while upholding human and labour rights. Today marks a new standard in the sugarcane industry and the agriculture sector, proving that scientific, market-based collaboration can achieve powerful results.”

Bonsucro followed the ISEAL Best Practice Guidance for the development of the standard. It was also the focus of a two-year multi-stakeholder global consultation process, involving growers, producers, NGOs and governments. In parallel, pilot audit tests in Brazil, India, South Africa and Australia, informed the design of the standard.