Barry Callebaut joins Bonsucro to ramp up 100% sustainable sugar pledge

Barry Callebaut sources large volumes of its sugar from Brazil and Mexico. ©iStock/lzf

Barry Callebaut has joined global sugarcane platform Bonsucro to support its move to 100% sustainable ingredients.

The supplier says the move will help it meet its previously communicated pledge to source 100% sustainable ingredients by 2025, including cocoa, sugar, dairy, palm oil, coconut oil, nuts, vanilla and soy lecithin.

Bonsucro is a platform working towards a sustainable sugarcane supply chain that brings together industry and NGOs. Its members include Ferrero, Mars, Nestlé and Mondelēz.

Largest volumes from Brazil and Mexico

Barry Callebaut said in a release: “Becoming a member in Bonsucro will help us drive sustainable solutions for cane-growing communities and ecosystems, expand our understanding of the challenges within the sugarcane sector, and will bring us to the forefront of promoting positive change.”

A spokesperson for Barry Callebaut told us: “Largest volumes of our [raw] cane sugar come from Brazil and Mexico with notable volumes from the United States, Mauritius and Guatemala.”

Barry Callebaut sources around 60% sugar beet and 40% sugarcane. It refused to disclose total annual sugar volumes or suppliers.

Sourcing based on supply and customer demand

Bonsucro’s chief exective Simon Usher previously told ConfectioneryNews around 80% of sugar use in confectionery is cane sugar, but European manufacturers may source significant amounts of beet as it is cultivated domestically.

Beet and sugarcane are interchangeable in quality for food and drink makers, he said.

Sugarcane is the primary income source of many smallholder farmers in developing nations, according to Bonsucro, and poverty, child and forced labor is not uncommon.

Asked if Barry Callebaut would aim to source more sugarcane compared to beet sugar under its sustainable sourcing model, a spokesperson said: “Our sourcing is based on supply availability and customer requirements.”

Brazil is the world’s largest sugar producer but the crop is also cultivated in many developing nations such as Swaziland, Thailand, India, the Philippines and Guatemala.

There are around 15 million sugarcane cutters and 60 million small-scale sugar growers globally, according to Solidaridad.

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