Australia’s sugar industry needs to remain focused on continuing production and sustainability gains as smaller sugar-producing nations look to replicate the industry’s success – that’s the message from CANEGROWERS Environment and Sustainability Manager Matt Kealley after the Bonsucro Week conference in Nicaragua.
Mr Kealley gave a presentation on the Queensland industry’s best management practices program, Smartcane BMP, to a session at the conference which involved around 150 delegates from South and Central American nations, the USA, Thailand and the UK.
“There was great interest in the practices and equipment used in Australia to improve our production and efficiency,” he said.
“While our industry is focused on improving productivity and efficiencies, end-users are focusing on switching to sustainably sourced sugar either through certification or credits.
“Australia is held in high regard for its practices, mechanisation and innovation, which means other cane growing regions are following our lead and striving to improve.
“This means the Australian industry shouldn’t lose focus on meeting the market’s growing appetite for sustainable sugar.
“We need to stay ahead of the game.”
Bonsucro is the preferred sustainability standard for many of the world’s major sugar buyers and food manufacturers. It has 480 global members and certifies nearly three million tonnes of sugar annually.
In Australia, Bundaberg Sugar, Sunshine Sugar and Wilmar all have Bonsucro-certified mills supplying domestic and international customers and both Coles and Woolworths use Bonsucro sugar for their private label brands.
CANEGROWERS has been working with closely with Bonsucro and in December 2016, Smartcane BMP was finally recognised as having full alignment with Bonsucro’s sustainability indicators.
CANEGROWERS is currently working on certification equivalency for Smartcane BMP and Bonsucro, to reduce costs and increase efficiencies.