Unilever and Solidaridad to further improve conditions for sugar cane workers in Central America

Posted: 9 July 2013 | Unilever | No comments yet

Unilever has signed a MoU with international NGO, Solidaridad…

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Unilever has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with international NGO, Solidaridad to further drive sustainable development in the sugarcane industry in Central America. This initiative supports the company’s commitment in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to source 100% of its agricultural raw materials sustainably.

The project is being led from Central America, with an initial focus on Mexico. The aims are to improve productivity of 3,600 farm and mill labourers in compliance with International Labour Organisation decent labour standards, improve triple bottom line farm performance for 1,900 farmers through farmer support (8,000 hectares under good agricultural management), achieve one mill and 5,000 hectares in compliance with Bonsucro Production Standard and to create cross-industry learnings around sustainability and certification. Organisations involved are: Solidaridad, Bonsucro, International Labour Organization and other consumer goods organisations. The initiative starts this summer and has a deadline in October 2015.

Marc Engel, Chief Procurement Officer, said: “This is an important collaboration for us on our journey towards sourcing 100% of sugar sustainably by 2020. We are committed to working with partners and fully support the work that bodies such as Solidaridad and Bonsucro are doing.”

Sven Sielhorst, International Programme Director for Sugar Cane, Solidaridad, said: “We look forward to our partnership with Unilever. Company engagement like this is crucial for the drive towards a thriving sugar cane sector, with positive impacts on society and the environment.”

Unilever has been a member of Bonsucro since January 2011. However, it is a small player in terms of global supply, with only 0.26% of market share. Unilever purchased the first 3262 tonnes of Bonsucro credits when the credit platform went live in December 2012.

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