A key ingredient of Bacardi rum is molasses, a by-product of sugarcane. Around the world, Bacardi aims to select suppliers who can produce high quality yields under sustainably certified conditions. Bonsucro, the global, non-profit organization that fosters the sustainability of the sugarcane sector, assists in the oversight process. It has developed a metric-based sustainability standard and certification process for the sugarcane industry. Family-owned Bacardi is a founding member and works with the organization to improve economic, environmental and social conditions in the regions around the world where sugarcane is produced.
“The Bonsucro standard covers areas such as human rights and labor conditions, bio-diversity, environmental and economic viability of the sugarcane producers,” explains Natasha Schwarzbach, Interim General Manager for Bonsucro.
Farmers, millers and end-users of sugarcane must meet rigorous requirements to be verified as sustainable by Bonsucro. Then as members, they work collaboratively to raise the bar at every step across the supply chain.
Bacardi says it is continuing to drive this effort, working with its suppliers to achieve high sustainability standards. The goal by 2022 is that all of its sugarcane products used for Bacardi rum will come from certified, sustainable sources. This pledge from Bacardi is an industry first.
With that, Bacardi says it is making a difference on the ground in places where sugarcane is grown. In Fiji, the company helps sugarcane growers develop model, sustainable farms. The program is a joint partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to educate farmers about increasing crop yields while, at the same time, reducing water runoff and other older practices that are hazardous to the Great Sea Reef.
“There have been a lot of challenges in the sugarcane industry,” says Dave Howson, Global Sustainability Director for Bacardi, the largest privately held spirits company in the world. “That’s why Bonsucro is so important. It’s really working to develop a sustainable sugarcane industry. Together with Bonsucro, our commitments are also a key pillar to building a sustainable future for Bacardi.”