ED&F Man Sugar increases sales of responsibly sourced sugars in 2023

Sugar Eswatini

Sugar cane farming in Eswatini. Responsible sourcing is part of our commitment to sustainability.

As one of the world’s largest sugar traders, ED&F Man Sugar understands the importance of responsible sourcing as part of our commitment to sustainability. By bringing certified sugars to a broad customer base, we help to meet consumer demand for sustainable products while also supporting producer communities through improved earnings.

For our fiscal year 2023 (which ended in September 2023), we reached new levels of certified Fairtrade and Bonsucro sugar sales.

In FY2023, ED&F Man Sugar traded 7,361 metric tonnes of Fairtrade certified sugar – an increase of 3.4 percent over FY2022. Fairtrade is a sustainability and certification system that connects farmers and workers with companies and the consumers who buy their products. It places special emphasis on improved prices, working conditions, and benefits for producer communities in the developing world. It is known and recognised all over the world by the Fairtrade logo which is present on products which contain certified ingredients.

Our Bonsucro certified sales grew to 42,797 metric tonnes in FY2023 – a 297 percent increase over FY2022 levels (the large jump is partly due to a bulk sugar sale of 25,000MT in FY2023; excluding that bulk sale, Bonsucro sales were still 3,401MT more for FY2023 than the previous year). Bonsucro is a sustainability platform and certification system specifically for sugarcane, which works with farmers, mills, companies, and NGOs to address social and environmental challenges in sugar supply chains.

The prices and premiums connected to these certified sugar purchases make substantive impacts for the farmers and communities involved in Fairtrade and Bonsucro sugar value chains. During FY2023 ED&F Man Sugar’s Fairtrade purchases generated US$518,725 in Fairtrade Premium – these are additional funds over and above the purchase price of the sugar which go directly to the producers’ cooperatives so they can invest in community development projects of their choosing. Each Fairtrade cooperative decides how to spend these monies themselves through their coop Assembly, the leaders of which are voted into position by the cooperative members.

Some of the sugar-producing communities ED&F Man sources from have used these gains from certified sales to build or improve facilities such as health clinics and schools, install solar power generation equipment to help irrigation needs, or purchase supplies for their farms and broader communities.

‘Finding the right markets for producers’ certified sugars is part of how our company supports sustainability,’ says Daniel Polak, Head of Distribution and Sustainability lead with ED&F Man Sugar. ‘The additional income from certified sales improves lives and livelihoods for thousands of sugar farming families and has a real, tangible impact at the grass roots of our supply chains.’

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