Green Sugar for the Great Reef
Bacardi, famous for its rum and other spirits, is leading the industry by pledging to have 100 percent of the sugarcane derived products used in its Bacardi rum come from a certified, sustainable source by 2022.
"The key ingredient for our award-winning BACARDI® rum is molasses, a by-product of sugarcane," says Dave Howson, Global Sustainability Director for family-owned Bacardi.
"To ensure viable sugarcane production, we're working with the WWF to improve farming practices and operations through model sugarcane farms. That, in turn, helps reduce degradation of the Great Sea Reef.”
"Our goal is to return to the environment at least as much as we take away. With such model farm programs, we're setting a sustainability standard for others in the spirits industry to follow," adds Howson.
Best farming practices demonstrated through a model farm include the use of organic fertilizer as well as terracing and carefully distancing rows of sugarcane – to help control nutrient and seed runoff into waterways leading to the GSR. That protects Fiji's natural beauty – and the future of its economy.
The model farm is coordinated by WWF-Pacific’s Sustainable Sugar Programme. Programme Coordinator Vinesh Kumar said lessons learnt from other sugar producing countries are being introduced in Fiji.
Cane farmer, Pradeep Lal said the model farm will not only make him a better farmer for the environment but increases his crop yield as well.
The model farm is located within the Labasa Sugar Mill cane producing area. Bacardi sponsored the production of a video capturing the experience.