As a conference venue, it certainly beats a central London hotel. This week the Better Sugar Cane Initiative
(BSI) held its annual meeting in Puerto Rico at the Bacardi factory in Cataño, the largest rum distillery in the world.
The goal of the BSI is much the same as those of the Ethical Trading Initiative
or Better Cotton Initiative
– improving the sustainability – whether it be social, environmental or economic – of an industry, in this case, sugar cane. The group brings together producers, manufacturers and campaign groups, including Coca-Cola, Tate & Lyle and the World Wildlife Fund.
“We truly believe this initiative will form the basis of long-lasting improvements in the lives of the sugar cane growers and the industry as a whole. Bacardi is helping to develop a new standard for sugar cane production that will not only help to standardise working conditions, but also improve environmental performance,” said Dave Howson, global procurement development director of Bacardi.
One example given by the BSI is that Bacardi’s old barrels are chopped up and the resulting chips are given to the factory employees to use on their gardens as mulch.
So when you are out on the town on Friday night, just remember it’s fine to treat yourself to a sugary drink – after all, you are helping the planet.