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Community / Land projects / A New Approach to Land Tenure and Sustainability Verification: Measuring and Certifying Performance in the Sug

A New Approach to Land Tenure and Sustainability Verification: Measuring and Certifying Performance in the Sug

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11/17 - 04/19


This project is part of


Working in collaboration with TMP Systems, Bonsucro sought to test and disseminate a new approach to sustainability monitoring and reporting in the sugar sector which fully integrated land tenure issues while producing reliable, consistent and near-real-time data at a low and affordable cost. It did do so by linking the Landscope risk and diligence tools under development by TMP Systems into the implementation of the Bonsucro Production Standard (BPS), and making the tools, assessments conducted and data products available thorugh the Bonsucro connect web site.  The Project worked to do this in two ways:    i) In a first stage, it engaged a wide range of companies investing in sugar production in and supply chain development in addition to sugar traders, industry brands end users and Service providers to assess their willingness to deploy this approach and their interest in the tools being developed for certification of their operations.  It then assessed 110 sugar farms and mills in Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia for exposure to tenure Risk, data coverage and developed a set of risk profiles to assess suitability for implementation with the aim of reducing risks and demonstrating compliance with Bonsucro standards.  For access to TMP Systems’ developed Landscope tools and information on how to apply them, including in the sugar sector, see:   ii) The second stage, which aimed to establish an affordable and particatory monitoring and verification system   intended to demonstrate compliance with Bonsucro standards, integrating land tenure risks and land related governance issues, while also usable for monitoring and management of the full range of business sustainability issues.  Although the approach was endorsed by various leading sugar companies and supply chain actors, in practice the field work to pilot the field monitoring system focused on sugar growers’ organisations and cooperatives supplying Illovo Sugar, at six sites in  Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.  The principal output of the project is set of several bespoke data collection, management and reporting modules that can be applied by farmers and growers’ organisations modules, using hand held tablets linked in to a central database.  Supported by pilot case studies and endorsements by stakeholders, these farmer modules allow the project partners to present the market with evidence that the new approach can improve farm management practices and assist smallholder suppliers in securing their tenure rights and accessing credit.  To access these modules and more information about how to apply them go to