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CNV Internationaal brings its message of promoting social dialogue to the 'Bonsucro Global Week'

CNV Internationaal, the only member of Bonsucro that represents workers’ interests, will take its message that social dialogue is an effective tool for reaching sustainable value chains to the annual meeting of the world sugar industry.

At the end of March, the Bonsucro Global Week will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico. This event brings together hundreds of delegates from companies throughout the worldwide value chain of sugar production. CNV Internationaal will be represented by Marionne Lips, an expert on issues regarding international responsible business conduct (IRBC) and CNV member on Bonsucro’s Technical Advisory Board.

Marionne Lips tells us that by participating in this event, CNV Internationaal wants to show 'that trade unions can play a constructive role through dialogue that promotes sustainability goals which benefit both workers and companies.'

Attending this world sugar meeting is an opportunity to bring both labour and social perspectives to the table in a constructive dialogue with the other parties involved in the sugarcane value chain, so that 'these two very different worlds, businesses and trade unions, can meet and understand each other better,' Lips says.


" Trade unions can play a constructive role through dialogue that promotes sustainability goals which benefit both workers and companies "

                                   Marionne Lips with sugar cane cutters in Bolivia

CNV Internationaal's role within Bonsucro

This year, the event has extra relevance because a document about updating Bonsucro’s sustainable production certification standard is being presented for discussion. The process of updating this standard began in 2019 with a series of consultations and interactive discussions and will last until the end of 2020. It is estimated that 20% of sugar consumed worldwide is certified by Bonsucro.

CNV Internationaal has actively participated in the process with contributions and comments. In addition, they  organised a work session in Nicaragua last September. The work session was attended by union leaders, Bonsucro representatives, members of the working group, as well as experts and representatives from sugar cane companies from Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia and Bolivia.

The objective of the meeting was to discuss and define the key aspects to be included in the update of the standard, from the workers' perspective, so that these aspects could be submitted and taken into account by the group who will review the document. Our contributions are backed by years of work in the sugar sector and our close relations with trade union organisations in Latin America.

Our expert on international responsible business conduct, Marionne Lips, will also participate in the panel being held during the Bonsucro Global Week. The panel, 'Sectoral Alliances to Take the Sustainability Agenda to Scale', will address how innovations in value chains and alliances between organisations that share common goals can work to bridge gaps and achieve a higher level of sustainability.

CNV Internationaal is looking forward to being present on this stage, where multiple actors will come together and work to strengthen protocols for greater social sustainability. And finally,  CNV Internationaal would like to relay the message that as an organisation representing workers’ interests in the sugar cane industry, they are a Bonsucro member with a great deal of useful knowledge and the capacity to find, promote and strengthen space for social dialogue.   


Publication date 21 02 2020