In a number of countries we work directly with farmers to improve the profitability and environmental and social impact of their farms
Harvesting better barley
During the year we worked with a small group of barley farmers to introduce farm-level indicators to measure yield, water, nitrogen, and energy use. Insights from these will be used to engage with farmers to identify opportunities for improvement
Our target is to source 100% of our sugarcane from sustainable sources by 2020. During the year, 15.3%1 of our global sugar supply from sugarcane came from sustainable sources (2015: 5.1%). This represents all sugar sourced from our Azunosa sugar mill in Honduras, which became Bonsucro-certified in 2014. Based on significant progress made towards sustainable sugarcane by suppliers representing a further 59% of our supply, we are confident that we are on track to meet our 2020 target.
In South Africa, the sugarcane industry faces quite different challenges than in Latin America, as it comprises a mix of small-scale and larger commercial farmers, rather than plantations; operates a two-year cropping pattern; and suffers considerable water stress.
In South Africa, the sugarcane industry faces quite different challenges than in Latin America, as it comprises a mix of small-scale and larger commercial farmers, rather than plantations, operates a two year cropping pattern, and suffers considerable water stress. To improve the sustainability of South African sugarcane (which represents approximately 43% of our total sugar sourced globally), we are working with leading local farmers, our supplier Illovo Sugar, and experts from WWF and Solidaridad on the SUSFarms initiative. This initiative is developing a local approach to sugarcane sustainability that meets equivalent standards to Bonsucro, and can be replicated across Africa. Bonsucro is currently reviewing and advising on the approach.
This year progress was also made in other markets in Latin America and in Australia. In Australia, our supplier Sugar Australia achieved ‘Chain of Custody’ certification from Bonsucro for its Invicta mill. SABMiller will be able to purchase Bonsucro-certified sugar in the country from 2016.
Contributing to food security
Alongside food production, incomes are key to food security and nutrition, enabling people to buy more varied foodstuffs. Farming provides vital incomes for millions of people around the world. Where we support new cash markets for subsistence crops, such as sorghum and cassava, we work with smallholder farmers to improve both their yields and their incomes, which in turn increases food security and nutrition for farmers, their families and communities.