SAO PAULO, Brazil, June 11 /PRNewswire/ --

The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), the top organization representing Brazil's sugarcane industry, has joined a global multi-stakeholder group dedicated to the promotion of measurable improvements in the social and environmental impacts of sugarcane production and processing. The London-based Better Sugarcane Initiative (BSI) works to engage stakeholders in constructive dialogue to define, develop and encourage adoption and implementation of practical and verifiable performance-based standards on a global scale.

At the first BSI meeting attended by UNICA, International Advisor Geraldine Kutas commented that UNICA sees BSI as the best platform to exchange and disseminate information on best management practices. "The sharing of experiences can greatly benefit our industry and help improve our practices, in line with UNICA's ongoing approach that favours adopting the highest possible standards and going beyond what is required by law," she added.

To illustrate, Kutas mentioned the "Green Protocol," signed in 2007 by the sugarcane industry and the government of Sao Paulo state, where more than 60% of Brazil's sugarcane is harvested, which speeds up the elimination of sugarcane burning practices. A similar agreement has been signed with FERAESP, the São Paulo State Federation of Rural Workers, to improve labour conditions for sugarcane cutters and tackle problems caused by outsourcing.

"We look forward to engaging in constructive discussions with other BSI members and to work hard to develop and apply sound principles and criteria that will benefit our sector," Kutas concluded.

BSI members include non-governmental organizations such as the WWF, Ethical Sugar and Solidaridad, and companies like Cargill, British Sugar, Bacardi-Martini, Cadbury Schweppes, Shell, BP and Coca-Cola. The organization's Steering Committee is chaired by Hari Morar of Tate & Lyle Sugars.


The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) represents the top producers of sugar and ethanol in the country's South-Central region, especially the state of Sao Paulo, which accounts for 60% of the country's total production. Along with its 110 member companies, UNICA develops position papers, statistics and specific research in support of Brazil's sugar, ethanol and bioelectricity sectors. Its membership is responsible for more than 50% of Brazil's sugarcane harvest. In 2007/08, Brazil produced an estimated 487 million metric tons of sugarcane, which yielded 30.6 million tons of sugar and 22 billion liters of ethanol.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Adhemar Altieri Corporate Communications Director Sao Paulo, Brazil +55-11-3093-4949 +55-11-3812-1416 - fax Michael Stanton-Geddes Fleishman-Hillard Brussels +32-2-230-5706

Web site:

Adhemar Altieri, Corporate Communications Director of UNICA, Sao Paulo, Brazil, +5511-3093-4949, or fax, +5511-3812-1416,; or Michael Stanton-Geddes, Fleishman-Hillard, Brussels, +322-230-5706,, for UNICA