During today’s annual Social Dialogue Plenary meeting, the social partners CEFS and EFFAT presented their fifteenth EU-wide Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report.

Ever since 1969, just after the creation of the Sugar Common Market Organisation, social dialogue in the European sugar industry has brought together employers, represented by CEFS, and employees, represented by EFFAT. For 50 years, the EU sugar industry is committed to creating added human and social value by incorporating CSR into all its activities and this is still the case now more than ever.

Since 1999, these social partners are officially recognised by the European Commission in the European social dialogue committee for the sugar industry. In 2003, CEFS and EFFAT voluntarily engaged in CSR and agreed on a Code of Conduct setting eight compulsory minimum social standards and basic rights. CSR reflects the commitment of the social partners to progressively develop the overall sustainability of the sugar industry.

First produced in 2004, this brochure is an important tool for disseminating  the principles of CSR and for displaying the added value of the sectoral social dialogue. This year’s update is particularly relevant as it focuses on the very topical subject of sustainability, in all its various aspects: economic, environmental and social.

Despite the unprecedented and serious market price decline, the report shares a positive story and presents a sector that is on a sustainability journey, which will intensify in the coming months and years. Beet sugar factories offer skilled, remunerative industrial employment and are often at the heart of the rural communities in which they operate. The factories generate important economic multipliers: supporting sugar beet farmers; providing food producers with high-quality, sustainable sugar; making bioethanol and molasses available to the chemicals and fermentation industries; and offering pastoral agriculture nourishing animal feed from beet pulp.

EFFAT and CEFS are mutually committed to creating the leadership and collaboration needed to ensure the continued competitiveness and sustainability of the sugar industry, vital to the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of European citizens often located in fragile communities.

The pdf version of the report is accessible here

Contact EFFAT: Estelle Brentnall, E.Brentnall@effat.org

Contact CEFS: Justine Richelle, justine.richelle@cefs.org