Bonsucro Code of Conduct revision – Pre-consultation for members

19th November 2019

Since late 2018 and following a decision from the Board of Directors, Bonsucro has been working to revise its Code of Conduct (last reviewed in 2011). Bonsucro’s Code of Conduct is the foundation of the members’ agreement with Bonsucro to be part of the Bonsucro platform. It is a key mechanism by which Bonsucro drives its vision of a sugarcane sector with thriving, sustainable producer communities and resilient, assured supply chains.

The revision presents a unique opportunity to:

  • Refresh commitment from members and renew interest in Bonsucro
  • Increase transparency and clarify expectations on what Bonsucro membership means
  • Find the right balance for membership requirements
  • Express the spirit of Bonsucro and set values that members and staff follow

The review started with a series of consultations carried out by Mike Read Associates in late 2018 and early 2019, which were finalised by in-person consultations with those present at Bonsucro Global Week in Thailand as well as an online survey to all members. These consultations helped the Secretariat and the Members Council to build a framework and uncover the key topics and ideas for the review.

The Members’ Council has also set-up a sub-committee of its members to lead the work and propose changes to the Code. The Committee and Secretariat then sought support from law firm DLA Piper to advance the work, which has been a key area of focus to the team and our partners for the past few months.

We are now in a position to share a draft Code of Conduct and associated documents and we would like to invite Bonsucro members to review and send their feedback by 27 November, 5pm London Time. Access the survey here.

Please note that this is a Bonsucro member-only pre-consultation and that a full public consultation will be carried out in early 2020 (i.e. this is not your last chance to comment, but we would appreciate if you do send early feedback now).

Following this initial round of feedback and subsequent discussions at Members’ Council and Board of Directors level, a public consultation will be opened between December 2019-January 2020. At which time both the revised Code of Conduct and the Bonsucro Grievance Mechanism (which is also being reviewed in parallel) will be consulted on.

This is an early opportunity for you as a member to have a first read of the proposed changes and to answer key consultations questions and influence the future of Bonsucro’s governance.


Why are changes to the Code of Conduct being made?

The Code has been redrafted to articulate more clearly Members’ roles and responsibilities as members of Bonsucro, primarily to support:

  • Bonsucro’s risk management and effective due diligence, including human rights due diligence, which requires a refresh of Bonsucro’s policies and processes governing its business relationships; and
  • Members’ sugarcane processing, production and sourcing activities alignment with Bonsucro’s vision and mission and best practice in this space. To do this, Bonsucro supports convergence with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, specifically the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains. These standards are the most globally authoritative frameworks for managing social and environmental risks in relation to business activities and supply chains. This should support Bonsucro Members to evolve their sugarcane production, processing and sourcing policies, processes and performance in line with best practice and make use of best practice and technical guidance that are developed from time to time. In addition, law and policy initiatives in the business and human rights space are increasingly converging with the UNGP and OECD Guidelines, therefore alignment with these standards may also support Members to meet incoming legal requirements.
  • As the focus on social and environmental impacts in business activities and supply chains increases, so does accountability and liability for the organisations involved. Bonsucro and its Members must work towards ensuring these issues are addressed and be clear about what they are doing to address them (and also what they are not doing or able to do).


How can I submit my feedback?

Please access the online survey with the consultation questions and follow the on-screen instructions.


You can, alternatively, submit your answers via Word document:

  • Download the Consultation Questions (the survey questions in Word format for those that prefer to respond in Word). If you do prefer to respond in Word, please send your completed Word file via e-mail to with the subject line “Code of Conduct Member Pre-Consultation”

Please note that in order for you to provide feedback you will need to read and review the following four (4) short documents and it is best if you have these documents handy whilst you respond to the consultations questions:

These documents are in draft form and the intention of the Member consultation is to draw in your comments and concerns so that a) the documents are informed by Members’ own experience and challenges; and b) the version that goes out for public consultation incorporates Members’ comments.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat if you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your support.


Draft Code of Conduct Documents in Portuguese:

Draft Code of Conduct

Draft Code Implementation Guidelines

Draft Code Reporting Guidelines

Draft Code Self-Assessment Template

Consultation Questions


Draft Code of Conduct Documents in Spanish:

Draft Code of Conduct

Draft Code Implementation Guidelines

Draft Code Reporting Guidelines

Draft Code Self-Assessment Template

Consultation Questions