Interview with Meredith Smith, ED&F Man

14th March 2019

To mark Bonsucro Global Week, we’ve caught up with some of the speakers to find out about their work driving a more sustainable sugarcane supply chain. Meredith Smith was part of the panel on Increasing market uptake – read some of her insights below.

Meredith Smith
Can you tell us more about your role at ED&F Man?

I joined ED&F Man 3 years ago in a new position created within the liquid products (molasses) division. I am responsible for sustainability, quality, and food safety for the Americas region, and I also support our coffee and sugar divisions to ensure the regulatory compliance of our US businesses.

Wearing my sustainability hat, my goal is to reduce risks within our supply chain for sugar and sugarcane-derived products and to increase the uptake of sustainable products we deliver to our customers.

How is ED&F Man working with stakeholders across the sugarcane supply chain to drive forwards uptake of Bonsucro certified sustainable sugarcane products in Europe?

We see Bonsucro as the best way to prove sustainable production of sugarcane throughout the supply chain. We have been involved since the beginning of Bonsucro, when it was called the “Better Sugarcane Initiative”, taking responsibility to grow a sustainable sugarcane supply chain.

In 2015, we achieved Chain of Custody certification, and we have worked with some of our long term suppliers to obtain Bonsucro certification at their sugar mills and refineries. In meetings with our customers and other stakeholders, we share and promote the work that Bonsucro and their certified members are doing to improve worker health, reduce GHG emissions, reduce water use at the mills, improve yield, and increase overall sustainability of the sector.

The theme of this year’s Bonsucro Global Week is ‘Scaling Impacts’. What is one outcome you’d like to see from multi-stakeholder discussions at Bonsucro Global Week to achieve sustainable sugarcane at scale?

ED&F Man is pleased to be a sponsor again this year at Bonsucro Global Week. One of the best outcomes of this type of event is increased pre-competitive dialogue around how we (traders, end users, producers) can all work together to affect change. Together we can achieve this potential more efficiently.

In the end, it is our shared responsibility, and it is exciting and engaging to be in the same room together with the same goals – to create a more sustainable sugarcane sector.


Join the #BonsucroGlobalWeek conversation on Twitter.

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.