Assobari sugarcane producer organization earns RSB certification

By Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials | September 22, 2016

Assobari (Associação dos Fornecedores de Cana da Região de Bariri) is the first organization of sugar cane producers in Brazil to earn the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials certification. The RSB certification is for the production of sugarcane by 62 farmers and approximately 1,860 hectares of sugar cane plantations.

"RSB certification is the recognition that farmers in the Bariri region produce sugarcane in a sustainable manner, in accordance with global standards," said Acácio Masson Filho, Assobari's president. "RSB is an important organization to help us access the market for multi-products from sugar cane."

"Through RSB certification, Assobari farmers were able to implement tools to assess their potential environmental and social impacts and to carry out stakeholder consultations. The certification process also helped Assobari prepare internal procedures for chain of custody and learn how sugar cane producers can be linked to the biomaterials market." 

"RSB allows farmers and producers associations to earn their own certificates and be recognized as sustainable producers, and to be linked to sustainable supply chains which is key for many farmers," said Rolf Hogan, RSB's executive director. "Also, sugar cane is one of the most important biofuel and biomaterial feedstocks for Brazil, so it is especially exciting to now have Assobari providing RSB certified materials for the industry. This movement forward indicates that RSB standards are applicable to the context of sugar cane in the region and provides a framework to implement sustainable practices by farmers associations."

RSB is recognized by NGOs as the "most comprehensive and ambitious" biomaterials sustainability certification program in the world. As a global coalition that brings together farmers, companies, non-governmental organizations, experts, governments, and inter-governmental agencies concerned with ensuring the sustainability of biomaterials production and processing, RSB provides a holistic approach towards sustainability assurance, covering social, environmental and operational aspects.

 This certification was made possible by the Boeing Corporate Citizenship Program which is supporting the RSB implementation by smallholder in Brazil and South Africa in order to promote sustainability and improve the livelihoods of farmers by linking them to markets.