Bonsucro strengthens presence in Mexico

16th May 2018

We’re pleased to welcome Ruth Ascensio to the Bonsucro team as we strengthen our presence in Mexico. Under the framework of the Enhancing Livelihood Fund, which is funded by Unilever and Oxfam, Ruth is developing for a feasibility study and engagement activities with Mexican mills to undertake the first steps on sustainability in the sugarcane sector.

The principal objective of the study is to evaluate whether the existing Sugarcane Quality Committees (SQC) can be empowered to become agents for access to information, finance and technical support for farmers, and involve them in monitoring and improving labour conditions. Today, the SQCs mainly represent farmers in price negotiations.  This project will evaluate whether the network of SQCs can play a wider role to support farmers in improving conditions and farm yields, rather than just playing a negotiation role.

The Feasibility Study will run from February to May 2018, and consists of the following elements:

  • Assessment of barriers that field workers and farmers face in the value chain
  • Gender analysis
  • Procurement audit
  • Compliance check with Unilever Sustainable Sourcing Strategy
  • iAn Risk Assessment
  • Customisation and integration of farmers feedback mechanism via the Ulula Platform

Ruth’s career in the sugarcane sector began in 2012 at AZUNOSA (Bonsucro member and the first Bonsucro certified mill in Honduras), as an advisor for the management systems, where she had worked on the implementation of processes and best practices in all activities at a farm and mill level. Ruth received Bonsucro training in September 2016, and became a certified Bonsucro Auditor.

Want to know more?

If you’d like to know more about the study, get in touch with Ruth.

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.