8 Dec 2016


WWF welcomes the announcement that the Smartcane BMP has been benchmarked against the Bonsucro Production Standard, as a step toward Bonsucro certification and Reef Safe practices.

Benchmarking identifies the steps needed to fully align the Smartcane BMP with the Bonsucro Production Standard, which when completed will provide a more streamlined approach for cane farmers seeking Bonsucro certification.

This is good news for the many cane farmers already participating in the Smartcane BMP program and for those considering joining it.

Reducing water pollution from reef catchments is essential to ensure the Great Barrier Reef has a fighting chance against climate change and other threats, as spelled out in the government’s 2050 Reef Plan.

An urgent priority for improving the sustainability of sugarcane in Queensland is reducing polluted run-off from cane farms, and in particular fertiliser run-off.

The next step for Bonsucro and the Smartcane BMP is to demonstrate how their Standards and continual improvement by cane farmers over the coming years will shift cane farmers to Reef Safe practices – practices that are not harming the Great Barrier Reef.

WWF has worked for many years with leading sugarcane growers and the cane industry in Queensland to promote more sustainable farming practices.

WWF supports an integrated package of regulatory reform, incentives and voluntary standards to deliver rapid changes in farming practices to meet the reef water quality targets.

For voluntary standards to deliver, industry must set meaningful sustainability targets and ensure credible verification and reporting of progress, at industry, catchment and farm level.

One of the best ways to promote and verify improved sustainability in any industry is by persuading both producers and their customers to adopt global, independent, multi-stakeholder standards.

In the case of sugarcane, WWF supports the Bonsucro global sustainability standard, which provides a robust, science-based framework for continuous improvement.

WWF encourages Bonsucro and Smartcane BMP to consult with scientists and other stakeholders to identify the changes that need to be made to their standards and practice recommendations to shift the industry to reef safe practices in line with the government’s 2025 water quality targets.

Media Contact:

Mark Symons, WWF-Australia Senior Media Officer, 0400 985 571, msymons@wwf.org.au