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MEDIA blogs from previous years

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11 June 2018

Unlocking sustainability in the sugar industry to become the partner of choice

Unlocking sustainability in the sugar industry to become the partner of choice

A blog by Mats Liljestam, AB Sugar’s Commercial Director

Last month, AB Sugar launched its 2030 sustainability commitments building on the success of its Global Mind, Local Champions framework and setting out its vision to become the world’s leading sustainable sugar business.

Set against a market environment heavily influenced by many of the world’s key producing regions; our sustainability approach will play an important role in us capturing the opportunities and facing the challenges of trading in a high profile commodity market.

In parallel to the changes to the EU sugar regime in October 2017, the changing world sugar flows have had a huge impact on both price and availability, opening up new export possibilities and emerging customer demands in our domestic markets. But the challenges are not exclusive to just price and availability; they also encompass reducing our environmental footprint as well as social commitments to the local communities where we operate and across our end-to-end supply chain.

In this world, sustainable development alongside our customers is not optional; it is a fundamental commitment we make to those around us. This sentiment sits at the heart of our vision and while ambitious in its nature, our 2030 aspirations reaffirm where we are heading on our journey to ensuring we maintain our position as one of the leading industry players. We are truly committed to working closely together with our customers, contributing to them achieving their long-term sustainability commitments.  

Becoming a supplier of choice

Our aspirations do not indicate a change in course of direction for us, but are an acceleration of the work undertaken within all our operating markets. As part of this we already implement sustainable agriculture practices based on recognised and thorough benchmarks such as SAI and CDP. Ensuring traceability, quality and reliability throughout our end-to-end supply chain and that all our partners adhere to strict social, environmental and ethical standards.

All over the globe there are clear expectations on the food industry to actively contribute to securing the sustainability of the planet. Consumers, and other stakeholders, rightly expect food companies to improve their environmental footprints throughout the supply chain (farm to table) while also improving the livelihoods through strict social standards. Our 2030 sustainability commitments should be seen as our response to these expectations.

We trust our work in this area will convince our customers that they have found the right partner and supplier in us; how we move and sell sugar is just as important to our customers as how we ensure sustainable sugar production across all our operations. We acknowledge that we are active in a highly competitive market where our competitors are not standing still. This means we must work harder to stay at the front of the curve and continue to deliver value for our stakeholders across the supply chain.

A long-standing history of sustainable development

As a global business with operations across three continents, we understand complex supply chains that sit across agriculture, logistics, factory and consumer. Our model also focuses on circular economy, making the most of every root of beet and stick of cane, producing sugar and sugar-related products for a range of food sectors and industries.

Our commitments, designed to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out our ambition for 2030, but together with our customers we are looking to responsibly shape the future as we evolve and adapt to the changing world around us.

Notes to editors:

To find out more about AB Sugar’s Global Mind, Local Champions framework, please click here

To find out more about the 2030 Commitments, please click here

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