Sunoko Was the First to Certify Sustainable Sugar Production
The Company Sunoko, a member of the MK Group, has successfully verified the sustainable development of the agricultural production of sugar beet. It is the first company in Serbia that, together with the MK Farming Division, received the FSA (Farm Sustainability Assessment) verification, which is part of an international program in which agricultural producers and companies committed to sustainability and best agricultural practices participate.
This verification testifies to the responsible production of Sunoko and the agricultural companies in the MK Group and to the care of natural resources and soil conservation – from preparation for sowing and application of fertilizers, to the use of chemical agents. It is also proof that in addition to environmental protection, special attention is paid to working conditions and the safety and health of production employees.
„Our development strategy envisages further growth and improvement of sugar beet and sugar production, which supports the achievement of our goal to increase the placement of sugar from Serbia on foreign markets and develop as the largest net exporter in the region. Sunoko’s partners and customers of our products are the largest companies in the food and beverage industry and retail chains, and they recognize the value of the highest standards we apply. In the next few years, certified sustainable development of sustainable production will be necessary for cooperation with multinational companies, and I believe that other manufacturers will follow our example”, said Slobodan Košutić, Director of Sunoko.
The Swiss company Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading producer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, cooperated with Sunoco in the verification process.
David Bowrin, Managing Director of Barry Callebaut South East Europe, said: “Sugar is an important ingredient in our industry. As part of our strengthened Forever Chocolate strategy, we aim to have 100% certified or verified cocoa and ingredients in all our products by 2030, which can be traced back to the farm level. Therefore, we are glad that Sunoko successfully passed the FSA audit and reached gold and silver levels and is already supplying sugar to our chocolate factory in Novi Sad. The FSA Certificate includes many environmental and social criteria that are relevant to sugar beet production and that is why we continue to promote this platform.”
Behind the FSA Certificate received by Sunoko together with the MK Farming Division are the investments of the parent company MK Group in sustainable development, improvement of production and introduction of innovations. This year, which marks 40 years of business operations, MK Group announces new investments worth more than 350 million euros in the agri-food sector over the next three years, which will strengthen its leadership position.
Sunoko is the largest sugar producer in the region and one of the most efficient companies in the sugar industry in Europe. With three sugar factories in Pećinci, Vrbas and Kovačica, it ensures a stable and safe supply of the Serbian market. Thanks to Sunoko, Serbia is the only country in the Balkans that is self-sufficient when it comes to sugar production, and that has the potential to increase sales on the foreign market as a net exporter, which makes sugar beet a strategic crop for our country.