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What is Bonsucro?

Bonsucro Chain of Custody certification can help you improve your image, achieve sustainability procurement goals, and build partnerships to tackle sustainability issues together.

The demand for responsibly grown sugarcane has been mainly driven by large sugar buyers, such as Ferrero, Kraft Foods, Unilever, Bacardi and many more, who are now opting for sugar produced more sustainably. 

Bonsucro (Better Sugarcane Initiative) is a global multi-stakeholder non-profit organisation promoting sustainable sugarcane production. It recognises responsibly manufactured sugarcane products and derivatives, such as sugar, ethanol, molasses, and bagasse, while prioritising businesses’ commitment to responsible environmental, social, and economic performance.  

The Bonsucro Chain of Custody Standard sets out rules for a traceability system that enables brands to trace sugarcane from the origin to the end product and make sustainability claims about their sugarcane sourcing. The standard has been designed with the Standard Development and Revision Procedure in line with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards.

Preferred by Nature is a certification body licensed to carry out audits against the Bonsucro Chain of Custody Standard. 

>> Learn more about Bonsucro 
>> Download our info sheet

About Bonsucro

Bonsucro is a global sustainability platform and standard for sugarcane. It works to collectively accelerate the sustainable production and use of sugarcane.

Bonsucro has over 280 members from more than 50 countries to address critical challenges in the sugarcane sector and drive both performance and impact through its system of sustainability standards. Since its launch in 2011, the Bonsucro certification scheme’s impact on the sugarcane sector has been significant. The number of certified entities has grown consistently, reaching the amount of over 800 million tonnes of sugarcane certified in 2023.

The organisation is engaged across all sugarcane products and derivatives – sugar, ethanol, molasses, and bagasse in traditional and newer market sectors, from sugar and alcohol to biofuels and bioplastics.

Bonsucro’s mission is to ensure responsible sugarcane production that creates lasting value for people, communities, businesses, economies and eco-systems of all cane-growing origins. With this objective, they developed a set of principles, criteria, and indicators used to assess the conformance of sugarcane supply chains.

Bonsucro is ISEAL Code Compliant. Its system has been independently evaluated against ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice, a globally recognised framework for effective and credible sustainability systems. 

The certification 

Bonsucro Chain of Custody Certification: Becoming Bonsucro-certified is a global measure of your credibility and responsibility as a business.

Bonsucro-certified companies can use the Bonsucro logo that promotes sustainability in sugarcane. 

•    On pack, it helps to draw consumers’ attention to your sustainability credentials. 
•    Off pack, it helps show your suppliers and clients that you are part of the global community dedicated to accelerating the sustainable production and use of sugarcane.

The Bonsucro Certified Sustainable Sugarcane seal is designed to help with your consumer messaging. It is exclusively for physical products that contain a minimum of 95% Bonsucro-certified sugarcane. Learn more about making Bonsucro-related claims – check the Bonsucro website.

What benefits you will get?

Creating value across supply chains

Through a unique combination of certification, convening and collaborative action, Bonsucro offers different value propositions for different member and stakeholder groups (including farmers, mills, traders, end-users, donors and funders, civil society, governments), aligned to their respective interests, locations, and ambitions. It helps establishing traceable and transparent supply chains, ensuring traceability from origin to end product.

Improving the environmental impact of sugarcane

Bonsucro also works with its members and partners to agree on sector-level commitments to science-based targets for greenhouse gas reduction that meet the UNFCCC Paris Agreement by 2030. It also helps measure productivity and impart responsible production on your farms and mills.

Strengthening human rights and decent work in sugarcane farming and milling

One of Bonsucro’s aims is to continue to drive decent work and safer working conditions for farmers, farmworkers, and mill workers, including zero-tolerance for forced and child labour. It helps demonstrate your commitment to ensuring that producer communities and workers are treated fairly and equally.

Gaining public trust and credibility

Bonsucro helps make credible third-party claims about responsible sugarcane sourcing and trading that can improve your business's economic viability and gain public trust. Moreover, it also supports meeting your sustainability goals for a better planet.

How is the certification process?

The steps in the certification process to become a member of Bonsucro are as follows:

Step 1: Application
First, fill in the application form and based on the information you share, we provide you with a pricing proposal.

Step 2: Preparation
Once you have accepted the proposal, you need to sign the Certification Agreement. Before the audit is carried out, you need to prepare for the certification by ensuring compliance with all the requirements specified in the Bonsucro Chain of Custody Standard.

Step 3: Audit
On the agreed dates, we will conduct the audit to check whether your system functions well. This is done through document reviews, field observation and interviews with your staff.

Step 4: Report
After the audit, we prepare a written report describing the results and compliance with the critical control points of the certification checklist. Any identified non-conformities are also described and these need to be corrected before the certificate can be issued.

Step 5: Certification
Upon a positive certification decision, the certificate is issued and sent to your company. 

Complaints and resolutions

If a complaint is raised about our certification services or one of our clients, we handle this in accordance with our Dispute Resolution Policy. We may call on our Impartiality Committee if Preferred by Nature’s impartiality is under question.

The Bonsucro certification options

An organisation has two options for its chosen unit of certification. These are:

•    Single site: a single functional part of an organisation’s operations or a combination of parts situated at one locality, e.g., sugarcane mill, terminal, food processing, storage, tanks. Mills may only be single-site units. 
•    Multi-site: More than one location either within a single legal entity or across legal entities that are related via an ownership structure (e.g. common holding company). Such locations may be refineries, storage or other processing units, or offices. The sites may be within a single country or across international borders. One site of an included legal entity shall be designated as responsible for maintaining the central administration of the ChoC requirements including the Mass Balance accounting using an Internal Control System (ICS). Mills may not use the option of Multi-Site Certification.

Opportunities for bundle certifications 

We are an accredited certification body for several certification programmes, including our own schemes and standards like the Carbon Footprint Support and Verification Programme and Sustainability Framework.  

Our Carbon Footprint Management Support and Verification Programme offers a range of services that align with your business needs. The integrated support approach to carbon footprint management (CFM) provides the necessary knowledge, tools and methods required to help you better manage and verify GHG emissions across your business, products, or specific projects.

We have also created a universal framework to ensure big and small companies can optimise their positive impact. The Preferred by Nature Certification, based on our Sustainability Framework, is adaptable and uses a risk-based approach that evaluates critical sustainability issues based on the commodity, region and scale of activity.

The Bonsucro Chain of Custody Standard

The Bonsucro Mass Balance Chain of Custody (ChoC) Standard aims to assure that claims of compliance can be tracked along the supply chain. Organisations undergoing the Bonsucro certification process must comply with Bonsucro ChoC Standard. 

Scope of the Bonsucro Mass Balance Chain of Custody Standard 

The Bonsucro ChoC standard applies to organisations purchasing, handling and/or trading physical Bonsucro-compliant material that wish to make any claim about the status of the material or representation of the material. These include:

•    Companies that take ownership of Bonsucro-certified products
•    Companies selling Bonsucro-certified products
•    Mills, traders, refineries, wholesalers & manufacturers (entities using Bonsucro-certified products as raw materials, ingredients, or input into their process)

Five main principles of the Chain of Custody Standard

1.    Implement mass balance Chain of Custody
2.    Validate Bonsucro data
3.    Reconcile Bonsucro data 
4.    Trace Bonsucro data 
5.    Identify data for clients

For details, please check:
The Bonsucro Mass Balance Chain of Custody Standard
English | Portuguese | Spanish (implementation guidance included)


Bonsucro - Info Sheet

Learn about the standard and its requirements. 

Learn about the standard and its requirements. 


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