An agreement was signed to promote environmental sustainability in the sugarcane industry


An agreement was signed to promote environmental sustainability in the sugarcane industry

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Sugar Producers Association of Honduras (APAH) recently signed a memorandum of understanding.  The purpose of this memorandum is to collaborate and work together for the identification and establishment of the sustainability principles for the cultivation and production of sugarcane in Honduras.   

Some of the activities that this memorandum comprises refer to evaluating and suggesting best practices related to the ruling principles for sustainability to be adopted by this sector and that this allows to create a sustainability model.  It also includes promoting continuous improvement and capacity strengthening for this sector. 

Andreas Lehnhoff, Director of WWF Guatemala / Mesoamerica indicated: “At WWF we are establishing alliances throughout the world to promote food production sustainability.   Best agriculture, social and working practices, as well as the adoption of voluntary international standards bring multiple benefits to producers, communities and the environment. They turn productive processes to be more efficient, reduce the ecologic footprint, improve community relationships and make more competitive and sustainable businesses.”

On behalf of APAH, the lawyer Gerardo J. Guillen, APAH’s Legal and Government Affairs Coordinator, on the signing of this agreement expressed: “As part of the efforts and commitments with society, the sugarcane industry of Honduras is pleased to join efforts with WWF, a global, prestigious and well-known organization, which allows us to perform efforts to identify the ruling principles for sustainability within our autoregulation strategy, which leads us to improve even more our performance and will allow more progress for the efforts that the sugar industry makes for Honduras.”

This agreement is framed within two of the global conservation objectives that WWF is tackling at a global scale: sustainable food production and freshwater conservation.  Furthermore, it is linked to the market axis that the organization has defined as a crosscutting priority.  In the case of APAH, this is aligned with its Sectorial Sustainability Policy. 

In Central America, WWF works together with partners, as APAH, to promote more environmentally sustainable production practices, as well as the adoption of sustainability standards like Bonsucro for the sugar industry sector.  By working with the industry and farmers for them to use voluntary certification schemes, there is a joint contribution to save ecosystems and resources like freshwater. 

The Bonsucro Standard will be taken as a reference to develop the axes and indicators for autoregulation in the Sustainable Principles Guide that WWF and APAH will produce for this sector.  On this matter, Miguel Hernández, Bonsucro’s Regional Director for Latin America, indicated: “Bonsucro, as a platform for change, is pleased to see organisations such as WWF and APAH using the Bonsucro Standard as the reference point for their own programmes, ensuring that they are developed with the credibility and robustness that the Standard brings while putting them in a sustainability context that works for the local producers. Collaboration is key for positive change within the sugarcane industry, and this agreement is a good example of key actors in Central America working together for continuous improvement."

The agreement between APAH and WWF will be enforced for one year, in which both organizations have committed to take the aforementioned actions.