We use organic sugarcane in many of our snack products, such as our Bunny Graham cookies, fruit snacks and granola bars. While sugarcane is an important ingredient for us to have, it’s also very important that we source from places we trust. Much of the world’s sugarcane is farmed in ways that degrade the environment and don’t provide a sustainable living for farming families. We choose to use organic sugarcane in our products because it is grown without use of expensive synthetic inputs. Also, organic farming practices do not expose farmers to harmful chemicals.
In 2013, we visited one of our sugarcane suppliers in Brazil. Here, we met Leontino Balbo, who has dedicated his life to building a viable, thriving agricultural system for sugarcane. He has introduced many innovative practices, such as green cane harvesting that keeps the ground covered and helps build the soil, spraying vinassa (a by-product from the milling process) that helps the groundcover naturally decompose and return to the soil, and using high flotation tires to avoid soil compaction. His goals are agricultural self-sufficiency and the preservation of natural resources such as water, air, fertile soil, and biodiversity. He calls his approach “ecosystem revitalizing agriculture” (ERA). It certainly inspired us, and we are proud to work with partners like him. We hope to find more examples like him on our sustainability journey.