Sustainable sugar ticks market boxes

1234 la sugarcane leading agriculture feb 19

CANEGROWERS has achieved exciting progress in having Queensland sugar produced by Smartcane BMP accredited growers recognised as sustainable in Australia and internationally.

“Supported by the commitment of our members to the Smartcane BMP program and its environmental credentials, CANEGROWERS has been actively building links with companies and accreditation programs to ensure they can identify our sugar as meeting their environmental and social responsibility goals,” CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan said.

“This is the key to the future of our industry and the thousands of people which rely on it – our farming families included.”

The bulk of the raw sugar produced in Queensland each year is refined in the Asia-Pacific region and much of it is used by food and beverage manufacturers which have set goals for sourcing sustainably-produced sugar.

“CANEGROWERS is celebrating the news that Coca-Cola Amatil has approved the Queensland sugarcane industry’s Smartcane BMP program and the international program Bonsucro as meeting its on-farm sustainable sugar requirements for its Australian products,” Mr Galligan said. “All of our accredited growers should feel personally proud of this recognition.”

Coca-Cola Amatil has announced that all sugar purchasing contracts to 2021 will be a mix of Smartcane BMP and Bonsucro certified sugar. Read the Coca-Cola Amatil statement here.

“This is very significant for the whole of the Queensland industry and a great recognition of the commitment of our growers and what they have achieved and continue to achieve in caring for the environment while running world-leading profitable and productive sugarcane farms,” Mr Galligan said.

“CANEGROWERS has worked closely with Coca-Cola as they have gone carefully through our program and determined it meets the company’s sustainability requirements.”

Smartcane BMP provides a framework for growers to demonstrate and implement farm practices that improve productivity and profitability while also reducing the risk of environmental impact, particularly to the Great Barrier Reef. More than 70% of the state’s sugarcane land is being managed by growers who are involved.

Backed by the commitment of the organisation’s members for a sustainable future, CANEGROWERS is building links and gaining recognition for Queensland sugar internationally.

Smartcane BMP has already achieved full alignment with Bonsucro, an international sustainability standard for sugar, and CANEGROWERS is now working with the big sugar trading and supply chain firm Czarnikow and its VIVE program for sustainable sugar on a joint path to compliance.

An independent review of Smartcane BMP and VIVE, carried out by Kruger, Swart & Associates, concluded there was good alignment between the programs and an opportunity to combine Smartcane BMP’s evidence at farm level with the VIVE program’s upstream modules to increase assurance throughout the supply chain.

“VIVE’s work with mills, refiners, shippers and tradehouses opens the door to extending the farm level success of the Smartcane BMP across the entire supply chain,” Mr Galligan said.

“This partnership is an exciting development for both VIVE and Smartcane BMP as we look to increase the supply of sustainable sugars to meet global end-user demand.

“CANEGROWERS, with the backing of our members, is leading this push to position Queensland sugar as a sustainable product in national and international markets.

“Queensland Government attempts to impose more bureaucratic interference on growers through increased regulation of farm activities and the sugar supply chain in this state will only frustrate this valuable and future-focussed effort.”

This article was first published in Leading Agriculture.

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