Dear Bonsucro Australian Stakeholders,
Smartcane BMP has achieved full alignment with the Bonsucro Production Standard after a formal benchmark. This is a significant step in collaborating towards a more professional, successful and responsible sugarcane sector in Australia. This communication explains why, and the next steps Bonsucro foresees in 2017.
On December 6, 2016, Bonsucro and Canegrowers announced that Smartcane BMP has been benchmarked against the Bonsucro Production Standard as being fully aligned. Both organisations have welcomed this step as an evolution in their relationship in working towards a shared vision of making sugarcane cultivation more sustainable.
Bonsucro published an announcement to explain what this achievement means in practice. In response, we received a number of inquiries from our Australian stakeholder community, and we would like to use this opportunity to provide further clarification on the benchmark.
Smartcane BMP is the second improvement scheme that has formally achieved a benchmarked status against the Bonsucro production Standard. A comparison of the two schemes reveals that they are fully aligned at the level of the Bonsucro core indicators, and have > 80% alignment in overall indicators. This indicates that both schemes can largely be used to work to similar outcomes.
The formal benchmark of Smartcane BMP is a critical step in working towards the endorsement of Smartcane as a Local Improvement Programme. Bonsucro is currently designing the requirements for improvement programmes to be endorsed with the objective to conclude them by April 2017. Once finalised, Bonsucro would welcome an application by Smartcane to engage in a process that may lead to endorsement of the program.
Another outcome of the benchmark process is a renewed commitment by Bonsucro to work with Smartcane and others to seek further evidence-based improvements associated with critical issues related to Australian sugarcane farming: water quality and “Reef Safe” practices. Bonsucro aims to work with existing local processes or initiate such an effort in early 2017, and welcomes support end engagement from all relevant stakeholders.
At Bonsucro, we recognise that our previous engagement in Australia may be one of the causes of the inquiries we received from the Australian stakeholder community. We aim to intensify our engagement in this important sugarcane origin in 2017, and we encourage all of our stakeholder to connect with us to make this happen in a collaborative spirit to improve farmer productivity and profitability while protecting natural resources like the Great Barrier Reef. Please do reach out to us directly in case of any further questions or concerns, so we can address them going forward.
We hope this communication has provides helpful clarification for our Australian stakeholders. Bonsucro wishes all of you Happy Holidays and a Successful 2017!