Sustainability in Thailand: First domestic trade of sustainably sourced sugar through Czarnikow’s and Intellync’s VIVE Programme

February 22, 2021

Adeoti Ogunsola

22nd February 2021


The VIVE Programme, a voluntary sustainability programme made in collaboration by Czarnikow Group and Intellync, has reached a further milestone this week through the completion of the first domestic sustainable sugar trade in Thailand between two of its participants.. In June 2020, VIVE Sustainable Supply Programme, facilitated the world’s first completely sustainable, end-to-end sugar trade 

This signifies a landmark moment for both the programme and the wider sustainability outlook in Thailand’s agricultural, food and beverage sectors, allowing collaboration between Thai businesses and supporting local farmers, communities, and the Thai economy. 

VIVE participant Kaset Thai International Sugar Corporation (KTIS), the largest sugar mill in the world, have supplied 12,500 metric tonnes of sustainably sourced sugar directly to FrieslandCampina (Thailand) PCL, also affiliated with the programme through Buyers Supporting VIVE, a platform for end buyers who are committed to responsible sourcing and sustainable development.  

With much of Thailand again covered by smog in the recent weeks, a key sustainability issue that VIVE is devoted to addressing is the burning of cane prior to harvest. Due to a lack of mechanised agriculture many Thai farmers cut cane by hand, and because burning cane prior to cutting removes the top leaves and increases harvest rate it is a common practice. 

FrieslandCampina is one of the world’s largest dairy companies and has a strong presence across South East Asia. It is a member of Buyers Supporting VIVE because of its ambitious and progressive sustainability policies and processes, including a commitment to responsibly sourced raw agricultural products and a high level of transparency.  

KTIS’ Group Deputy CEO, Nathapun Siriviriyakul said; “We have been committed to the sustainable developments in the sugarcane business chain (include farming activity) in Thailand and are now proud of being an important part of this development together with FrieslandCampina (Thailand) PCL under the VIVE programme. We do hope to continuously contribute to further sustainable developments in this industry not only in Thailand but also globally.” 

FrieslandCampina’s Head of Global Commodities Procurement & Responsible Sourcing, Evan Somu said; “It is a milestone in our responsible sourcing journey to be able to partner with suppliers in this first of its kind effort. We want to encourage the industry by taking steps towards supporting the local farmers and industry to tell them that there is a need for more sustainable production of raw materials as the future requires the world to produce more with less. Our journey does not stop here, in a world of growing population we also want to continue to provide affordable nutrition produced in balance with nature, realising a better living for farmers.” 

Global supply chain service company Czarnikow Group, joint owner of the VIVE Programme with Intellync, has brought KTIS and FrieslandCampina (Thailand) PCL together to make this independent trade possible. Czarnikow’s Bangkok office, founded four years ago as an extension of the organisation’s growing presence in South East Asia, has been ideally placed to promote sustainable development throughout the region. Through the VIVE Programme’s participating sugar mills in Thailand, there is over 1 million metric tonnes of sustainable sugar available from this region alone. 

The VIVE programme is designed to support communities as well as the environment, and would enable participants of the VIVE Programme, such as KTIS, to develop and implement plans to minimise atmospheric pollution generated on their supplying farms. VIVE would help participants assess the main risks of atmospheric pollution from their crop, so that farms can implement pollution management controls and minimise adverse effects. 

Thomas Ballard, General Manager of Czarnikow Thailand said: “This is a fantastic milestone for the development of VIVE within Thailand. Since opening our office here in Bangkok in 2018 we have been able to work closely with this industry to drive forward the sustainability agenda and create commercial advantage for the participants. We see this first trade as the turning of the tide and we see sustainability in sugar as a growing theme in the coming year”. 

Benjamin French, Senior Trader at Czarnikow, and also responsible for the development of the VIVE Programme in Asia commented; “We have already seen tremendous growth in the domestic supplies of VIVE sugar in both Indonesia and Malaysia, so we are delighted to now be making a difference in Thailand. There are several food and beverage multi-nationals that have strong presence in these three markets, and like FrieslandCampina (Thailand) PCL, they can now unify their approach to sustainability and source sustainably verified sugar for all of their regional businesses through VIVE.” 

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