Brazilian integrated sugarcane ethanol, sugar, and bioenergy major Raízen S.A. and US-headed ASR Group International, Inc. (ASR Group), the world's largest refiner and marketer of cane sugar, have announced a partnership that "sets the standard for sustainable raw cane sugar supply chains globally."
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According to a statement, the unprecedented multi-year agreement between Raízen and ASR Group creates the world’s first fully physically traceable and 100 percent non-genetically modified (non-GM) certified supply chain.
The partnership stretches from Raízen’s sustainably certified sugarcane farms and bioenergy parks in Center-South Brazil, all the way to supporting the brands in ASR Group’s cane sugar consumer products portfolio in North America and Europe.
Ten-year purchase commitment
Supported by an investment and a 10-year purchasing commitment from ASR Group, Raízen has developed unique processes, infrastructure, and technological solutions to track raw cane sugar from their farms and bioenergy parks – where the sugarcane is milled to produce raw sugar and biofuels – and segregate the final raw sugar through to a dedicated port terminal facility for export.
In addition to carrying non-GM status, Raízen also ensures that the raw cane sugar meets the highest global ethical and environmental standards.
The first shipments of raw cane sugar under the new partnership are running through a dedicated export facility contracted by Raízen at the Port of Paranaguá in Paraná State (PR), Brazil.
During the first year of the partnership, ASR Group’s cane sugar refineries in Canada, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and Italy will receive deliveries as part of the supply chains of ASR Group’s local brands, including “Redpath”, “Tate & Lyle”, “Lyle’s”, and “Sidul”. Future shipments to ASR Group’s refineries in the United States (US) and its “Domino” and “C&H” brands are also being considered.
This partnership marks a new chapter in global sugar traceability. By segregating our operation, this initiative enables us to measure the full impact and footprint reduction in our supply chain more accurately, said Paulo Neves, VP of Trading at Raízen.
This certification enables us to confirm, through a third-party audit, the absence of GM sugarcane in our entire process, increasing the value of the product to customers who seek this type of sugar. We want to offer another alternative to this market, Paulo Neves said.
The premium that ASR Group will pay for the raw cane sugar will be re-invested by Raízen to continue to further both companies’ environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) targets.
This will include projects looking at improving land productivity, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through operational efficiency and innovation, increasing water circularity, and other sustainability initiatives.
This partnership between ASR Group and Raízen represents a big and important investment by both of us in our commitments to be the most sustainable sugar companies in the world, said Alan Wood, SVP of Global Sugars at ASR Group.
We are paying a premium for this sugar and are excited that this will be re-invested back into even more sustainability projects by Raízen. We’re confident this will give our customers, as well as the thousands of people working in our own businesses, great pride that the supply chains they are a part of will continue at the cutting edge of reducing their impact on people and the planet, Alan Wood said.
The traceability of the whole chain is independently certified by FoodChain ID, an international leader in standard-setting and certification of food supply chains.
The company has more than 20 years of experience in creating secure and certified supply chains across the industry, working with agriculture, food brands, and food and drink retailers, and has supported ASR Group for more than 10 years with verification and certification work in its global raw cane sugar sustainability program.
Raízen is the first company in the sugar and energy sector to earn the certification for non-GM sugar. The company’s bioparks involved in the process are located in the hubs of Piracicaba, Araçatuba, Andradina, Brotas, Araraquara, and Assis, and are part of the certified structure that covers Raízen’s 15 bioenergy parks.