Adelante Initiative receives major funding

30th September 2019

Bonsucro, with three other organisations – La Isla Network (LIN)San Antonio Mill, and the National Committee of Sugarcane Producers of Nicaragua (CNPA) – is a founding partner of the Adelante Initiative, a platform used to evaluate manual labour work practices and improve on them. Its objective is to reduce the harmful effects of heat stress and Chronic Kidney Disease of Undetermined Causes (CKDu) among the sugarcane workforce by standardising work practices.

Over the last few months Adelante Initiative has been working to acquire substantial financial support and now, two years after its inception, it has attracted major funding – nearly $2 million USD – to support its work from now until 2021.

The funding comes from the DEG and the BMZ, two German institutions dedicated to sustainable development, which come together via their Developpp programme.

The financial support from the DEG and the BMZ will help the initiative to continue working to ensure that occupational health, and addressing CKDu specifically, is a priority and can be validated and adapted for other affected sugarcane producing regions, as well as other industries whose workforce is at risk from heat stress, CKDu, and other related occupational illnesses.

San Antonio Mill and LIN are also continuing to invest their own resources into the project and additional support is provided by the other project partners. The CNPA will be essential in ensuring the project grows both within Nicaragua and the region. San Antonio Mill, LIN and the CNPA are all Bonsucro members, and it is through Bonsucro that it is hoped that Adelante’s findings can be disseminated internationally. LIN’s Ilana Weiss is part of the working group for the Bonsucro Production Standard Revision, which began earlier this year, providing one potential pathway for the initiative’s learnings to be spread globally.

Find out more in the Adelante Initiative podcast

Find out more in a podcast series on the Adelante Initiative that is hosted by sustainable business, human rights and environment commentator Ian Welsh, who will explore different aspects of the Initiative’s work, dedicated to creating safe and productive work practices in the sugarcane industry and beyond. The opening episode is now available here.



Bonsucro & Renovabio: Exploring synergies and advancing GHG reduction in Brazil

Project partners: Earth innovation Institute and Agroicone
Project length: 12 months Budget: $22,347,79
Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals:

RenovaBio is a Brazilian biofuel policy designed to decrease Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2029 [compared to 2018], in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change. It aims to do this by incentivising fuel distributors to blend more biofuels into their products. RenovaBio has established a certification scheme for biofuel, towards which Brazilian sugarcane mills are working, that will enable them to trade decarbonisation credits on the Brazilian stock exchange.

Bonsucro continuously seeks to grow awareness and adoption of its standard. In Brazil, this can be achieved by aligning its framework with RenovaBio to optimise costs and time for mills. In 2019, Bonsucro received a grant of US $22,000 from the Earth Innovation Institute to provide a common understanding of how RenovaBio works and how other regions might benefit from this approach.

Bonsucro addressed the topic at Bonsucro Global Week in Bangkok in March 2019, and through three stakeholder forums in Brazil. The Bonsucro team also commissioned a technical comparison study, which enabled the organisation to understand how best to align with RenovaBio’s requirements.

The study has been shared with key stakeholders in Brazil and the project is now complete. Bonsucro is working to incorporate the study’s findings and recommendations through its ongoing Production Standard Revision process.

By aligning opportunities of optimisation, joint work and integration with the Brazilian Government and reflecting it in the Bonsucro Standard, Bonsucro can help to ensure that more producers adopt sustainability standards like Bonsucro.