Mauritian company Omnicane Milling Operations Limited, owned by the Omnicane Group, has become the first African mill to achieve Bonsucro certification, resulting in the first Bonsucro-certified sugar coming on to the market from Africa.

Omnicane’s CEO Jacques M. d’Unienville said the significant achievement confirmed that the operation was in line with international guidelines linked to responsible sugarcane production.

The rigorous Bonsucro Standards are the most widely accepted international standards for sustainable sugarcane. The Bonsucro Production Standard helps farmers and mills to measure their productivity and key environmental and social impacts, while the Chain of Custody Standard gives traders and buyers the assurance that they are sourcing and trading responsibly. “We believe that Bonsucro certification will provide a competitive edge for the marketing of sustainable sugar from Omnicane and the Mauritian sugarcane industry at large,” d’Unienville said.

Omnicane is a part of the National Cane Sustainability Steering Committee established by the Mauritian Sugar Syndicate to promote a national drive for sustainability across the country’s cane industry. Through this initiative, the group has worked very closely with the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute to reduce their herbicide application rate. The levels of herbicide application in Mauritius are among the highest in the world.

Omnicane’s Chief Operations Officer for Agriculture Francois Audibert said successfully reducing herbicide application rates, which is a core requirement of the Bonsucro Standard, was a major achievement for the operation.

Bonsucro’s Regional Director for Africa and the Middle East Boudewijn Goossens said the certification heralded a new era for African sugarcane production. “As the continent’s first Bonsucro-certified mill, this means there will be African Bonsucro-certified sugar on the market for the first time. The group’s certification is a validation of the hard work it has accomplished with its partners in transforming the Mauritian sugarcane sector into a more sustainable industry,” he said.

Bonsucro is a global multi-stakeholder non-profit organisation that promotes sustainable sugarcane production, processing and trade around the world. Bonsucro supports a community of more than 500 members in some 40 countries, from all elements of the sugarcane supply chain, including, farmers, millers, traders, buyers and support organisations.

Its vision is a sugarcane sector with thriving, sustainable producer communities and resilient, assured supply chains, while building a platform to accelerate change for the largest agricultural commodity in the world – sugarcane.

The Brazilian mill Maracai, owned by Raizen, was the first to be certified by Bonsucro in 2011. Currently there are 108 certified mills worldwide:

77 in Latin America, of which 64 are in Brazil; 30 in Asia/Pacific: Australia, China, India and Thailand; one in Africa: Omnicane Mauritius.

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