In early 2019, ProTerra Foundation and the VIVE Programme commenced a benchmarking exercise to review the alignment of the two programme’s purpose and scope and to identify opportunities for collaboration and mutual recognition of their efforts to promote sustainable agriculture and food supply chains.
Our aim was to boost cooperation in the sugarcane and sugar beet supply chains, presenting an opportunity for producers and processors to avoid duplication and reduce implementation costs, aimed at achieving the following benefits:
- Sugarcane or beet producers that were already participating in VIVE would only be required to do a reduced ProTerra Audit in order to become ProTerra Certified;
- Create synergies between ProTerra and VIVE for sugarcane or beet producers;
- Promote continuous improvement across the sugar industry.
Now, 3 months later, we are delighted to inform you about the outcomes of this partnership, detailing the successful benchmarking of our two programmes!
Key outcomes from the benchmarking exercise
The resulting benchmark confirms that VIVE and ProTerra have a high level of alignment in their aims and in the specific content of their programmes.
Both standards are based upon continuous improvement, are voluntary programs and consider environmental, social and health and safety of industrial and agricultural operations.
Following the benchmark, producers and processors participating within VIVE will be able to review their performance against ProTerra’s requirements. Moreover, participants achieving the VIVE Claim Level will be able to demonstrate compliance to ProTerra Certification.
Where ProTerra requirements find partial or no alignment with VIVE’s requirements, producers will be required to submit further evidence to reach ProTerra certification.
For example, GMOs and Genetically Engineered Organisms are excluded from the ProTerra certification scheme, whilst VIVE does not exclude such products, instead, it requires participants to identify any GMOs present. As such, the prohibition of usage of GMO requirements under Proterra, a fundamental aspect of that standard, remains unchanged for VIVE participants looking to achieve ProTerra certification.
We are now reviewing the options for a pilot audit and the preparation of specific guidance for sugarcane or beet producers to reach the ProTerra certification through the VIVE Programme. We expect to have this done as soon as the new ProTerra’s Managing Director is in place. Stay tuned!