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Strengthening the Bonsucro standard

Improving labour rights in sugarcane production.

In view of the current process of revision of the Bonsucro standard for sustainable sugarcane, member organization CNV Internationaal recently organized a multi-stakeholder meeting in Nicaragua. Workers, employers and experts of different countries like Nicaragua, Bolivia, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, USA, The Netherlands and the UK participated.

“Our objective to organize this event was to facilitate an open dialogue on the social indicators. We aim to nourish the current discussions in the working group of Bonsucro for the revision of the production standard.” explains Marionne Lips Advisor International Responsible Business Conduct of CNV Internationaal.


“We believe that Bonsucro is on the right track. We have faith in the standard itself. But the standard should be more inclusive. At this moment the workers are not included. As CNV Internationaal we can help to make the standard more inclusive, based on our experience with social dialogue between workers and employers.”

In this multi-stakeholder meeting, participants shared their views on the Standard with members of the working group for the revision of the Bonsucro production standard.

Good and constructive proposals were shared on how to include indicators on social dialogue, freedom of association, subcontracting, gender discrimination, child labour, occupational safety & health and living wage.

Furthermore suggestions were made on how the revision of the standard may benefit of the experience of initiatives like the Fairtrade and the RSPO standards and the different ISO quality standards. 


Providing input on the social indicators

The Bonsucro production standard revision has been underway from April 2019. As part of the revision which will last until December 2020 Bonsucro has hosted advisory groups across the different elements of the sugarcane supply chain in which the members of Bonsucro operate.

These groups give stakeholders and members of Bonsucro the opportunity to share questions, give feedback and advice on the production standard and the revision. The meeting in Nicaragua was one of those advisory groups with a specific focus on providing feedback on the social indicators of the production standard.

The multi-stakeholder-meeting in Nicaragua organized by CNV Internationaal from 23 to 25 September was a first contribution to deliver input on the revision. “It was a very fruitful exchange. We hope the working group of Bonsucro will take the valuable input provided into account in their discussions”, says Marionne Lips.

In the period between January and March 2020 a first public consultation will take place on the revised standard which will be the next opportunity to provide input. 

Publication date 12 11 2019