White paper on sustainability of Thai sugarcane industry released

11th August 2017

Opportunities & challenges in Thai sugarcane industry identified

We’re pleased to announce the publication of a new white paper on the sustainability of the Thai sugarcane sector. Co-ordinated by Bonsucro, and written by FairAgora, this study was initiated and funded by PepsiCo with support from Corbion.

It provides a high-level overview of the Thai sugarcane industry and identifies key opportunities for driving the sustainability agenda forward using the Bonsucro standard as a reference framework. The report is based on data collected from a desktop review of market intelligence, technical data, and government policy, as well as from insight acquired through stakeholder engagement. An additional workshop session was included as part of Bonsucro’s Technical training week in Thailand.

The paper identifies critical social, economic, and environmental challenges that need to be addressed in the Thai sugarcane industry, as well as key opportunities to drive the sustainability agenda forward. To address some of the biggest challenges in the sugarcane industry, improved stakeholder engagement and collaboration is needed across the supply chain.

“We are very grateful to FairAgora for all their hard work in pulling this paper together,” said the Regional Director for Asia, Rick Lyu. “We have already used findings from the paper to shape our Thailand Accelerator Plan and prioritise actions on the ground. We hope to continue our working partnership with FairAgora and other key stakeholders who are also committed to improving the sustainability of Thai sugarcane industry.”

Highlights/findings

The importance of engaging with farmers to build capacity and improve production and compliance was highlighted as a priority issue, as was access to financial support for the adoption of more sustainable farming practices.

Actions identified by stakeholders as having the potential to positively affect the sugarcane sector in Thailand included:

  • Mechanisation of harvest
  • Dedicated investment schemes for improvement
  • Environmental monitoring and management
  • Increased economic research and financial risk modelling
  • Farmer training in good agriculture practices and data collection

Through our collaborative platform, Bonsucro will be working with stakeholders wishing to improve economic, environmental and social sustainability in the sugarcane industry in Thailand through our accelerator plan.

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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.