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Sourcing cane sugar

Cane sugar makes up less than 2 per cent of our raw materials. We import raw cane sugar for refining, organic cane sugar and some speciality types of sugar based on cane. All our cane sugar is sourced through a network of external suppliers. Our ambition is to make sure that all the cane sugar we use is grown and supplied using the same high sustainability standards we expect from beet sugar.

Raw cane sugar imports

At times we import raw cane sugar to include in our supply. The raw cane sugar we purchase for bulk delivery is exported from large shipping terminals that mix supplies from a number of sugar mills. This means that the sugar is not traceable to individual mills.

In this case we audit a random selection of the sugar mills we have been buying from, as well as the relevant shipping terminal. We only purchase cane sugar if we are allowed to audit the supplying sugar mills. As a general rule, we audit suppliers from a new region where we intend to do recurring business. Based on the audit findings we engage with the supplier to make sure that deliveries are living up to our requirements.

Imports for direct consumption

Some of the cane sugar we import is for direct consumption. For this type of sugar, which is delivered in bags that can be traced back to mills, we audit both the supplying sugar mill and the farms where the sugar cane is grown.

Audit scope

Our supplier audits cover food safety and quality, social responsibility, health and safety and the environment. In cases of noncompliance, we either stop further deliveries or demand improvements, depending on the extent to which our requirements are not being met. Where we demand that a supplier takes remedial action, we follow up to ensure the improvements have been carried out. In case of failure of a supplier to adjust to these demands, a cease of collaboration with them in the future is possible.

Impact

 

Over the last three years, we have audited sugar cane mills in South America and Africa. The auditing outcome has been positive in all cases, allowing us to continue with the same supplying partners, however in cases where some non-compliance is monitored, improvements have been required.

See our Supplier Code of Conduct for more information on the requirements we set for our suppliers.