Unilever and non profit organization Solidaridad today announced a partnership to drive sustainable development in sugarcane industry in Central America. The signing of a memorandum of Understanding was celebrated today at the launch of the official Solidaridad campaign: “How to change the world with sugarcane.” The initiative supports Unilevers commitment to source 100% of its agricultural raw materials sustainably.
Sven Sielhorst, programme Manager Sugarcane at Solidaridad is pleased with this important step of Unilever: “Company engagement like this is crucial for the drive towards a thriving sugar cane sector, with positive impacts on society and the environment. I am very exited that Unilever is taking initiative. Only when others follow we can really make sugarcane industry contribute to positive change in the world.”
Sugarcane project in Central America
The project is being led from Central America, with an initial focus on Mexico. The aims are:
- To improve productivity of 3,600 farm and mill laborers in compliance with International Labor Organisation decent labor standards.
- To improve social, environmental and commercial farm performance for 1,900 farmers through farmer support with 8,000 hectares under good agricultural management.
- To achieve one mill and 5,000 hectares in compliance with Bonsucro Production Standard and to create cross-industry leanings around sustainability and certification.
- To share lessons learned and experiences with other actors in the Mexican and Central American sugarcane industry.
Unilever has committed to purchase Bonsucro certified sugar or certificates created by this project. Marc Engel, Chief Procurement Officer at Unilever said: “This is an important collaboration for us on our journey towards sourcing 100% of sugar sustainably by 2020. We are committed to working with partners and fully support the work that bodies such as Solidaridad and Bonsucro are doing.”
Solidaridad campaign: How to change the world with sugarcane
Solidaridad believes that sugarcane has a high potential as replacement for oil and holds a tremendous economical potential. It also provides millions of farmers and laborers an income. It is the crop of the future but we can only fulfill this promise if we, together, further improve the way sugarcane is being produced. This is why Solidaridad today started a new positive campaign. Solidaridad will ask all relevant players in the supply chain the question: How can you change the world with sugarcane? More information you’ll find on www.sugarcane-solidaridad.org