NDPE Sugar


The No Deforestation and No People Exploitation (NDPE) Sugar ambition is to make sugarcane production environmentally sustainable and to improve the livelihoods of the people involved in producing sugar.

As part of our commitment to sustainability, we have set clear milestones to drive progress and acknowledge achievements along our journey.

Integral to this Initiative is the development of strong, long-term partnerships with our suppliers and buyers, while simultaneously embracing sustainability tools and programmes currently in use today.

Wilmar’s NDPE Sugar is Equivalent to SAI Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment 3.0 (FSA) Gold Level.

Working in Partnership with Our Supply Chain

We started this journey in 2021 with the development of the Wilmar NDPE Sugar Policy, built around a firm commitment to work in partnership with our buyers and suppliers to improve sugarcane production for both people and the environment.

The initial phase of work focuses on sugar mills in important sourcing regions. We are working progressively to cascade and implement the principles of NDPE Sugar through the various actors in our supply chain, which in turn will drive lasting improvements in sustainability.


The following principles are the core of this policy for our sugar supply chain. Principles 1 and 2 are mandatory principles relating to the minimum expected sustainability requirements of all Wilmar’s supply base. Principle 3 recognises the importance of continuous improvement and enhancing operational practices through a progressive and ongoing implementation approach



A Stepwise Approach


Core to our approach is the traceability mapping of our sugar sourcing to understand the full extent of the supply chain and to gain visibility to origin. This entails mapping out all the mills supplying our refineries, as well as their sugarcane sources. For a mill to be considered traceable, we require specific information to be available, such as (1) mill name, (2) mill address, (3) GPS coordinates, and (4) volumes supplied to the refineries. Therefore, while some quantities may be categorised as untraceable, this does not imply the origin of the sugar is necessarily unknown, but rather that the untraceable volumes did not meet the full criteria for traceability.

Raising Awareness through the Supply Chain

  1. Understanding our mills supplier better
    With our sources of supply identified, the next step in our approach is to engage mill suppliers. An annual supplier assessment campaign is rolled out to all our suppliers through Wilmar’s proprietary online Supplier Reporting Tool (SRT) . The SRT is the platform to gather the information on social and environmental processes and practices at mill and cane supply base level. It has been successfully implemented within Wilmar’s palm oil supply base since 2017.
  2. Risk analysis & prioritisation for engagement
    The SRT assessment report rates our suppliers based on their responses across different principles, with action plans built into the system to flag out potential solutions for identified gaps. Suppliers are then screened by a proprietary risk matrix that identifies and prioritises suppliers that may require further engagement. Engagement for these identified suppliers includes site assessment, onsite/ in person capacity building and online capacity building to evaluate the practices of suppliers and provides the opportunity to develop action plans through an on-the-ground dialogue with suppliers’ teams.

Action and Improvement

Implementation and progress will then be monitored and evaluated based on the action plans generated from annual updates of the SRT assessment reports. Progress is expected to extend from the mill to the farmer supply base and our focus will be on key issues relevant to cane cultivation and harvesting.

Support programme

We are committed to supporting suppliers and will use the SRT reports to prioritize which specific mills (or groups of suppliers) need support and to develop guidance and programs.

Under the Initiative, pathways and timelines will be developed in order to engage and support as many of the mills, farmers and other stakeholders in our supply chains as possible to effectively drive and track progress against achieving the principles of NDPE Sugar.

Actors in our supply chains will be engaged through this process with the greatest proportion of our efforts and resources dedicated to suppliers in origins positioned to benefit the most from the support of the Initiative to improve sugarcane production, both for the environment and for people.



Mill Tiering Claims

The importance for mills to be able to share their progress through claims is well-recognised and will be developed in parallel to our engagement with mills.

The mill tiering system allows for;

  • Mills to be categorised into tiers
  • Mills to improve and progress through the tiers
  • Gaps and areas of improvement to be identified

(+) indicated that the mill’s supply base (or a proportion of the mill’s supply base) has been verified/certified by a third-party

Refinery Levels Claims

At present traceability claims are available for sugar refineries that use the sugar supplied from mill suppliers via Wilmar.

Sugar refinery will be classified by levels according to the performance of their supply base. The status of the mills will be included in the refinery traceability report produced by Wilmar.

They must demonstrate a willingness to support supply chain mapping and engagement with mill suppliers to achieve continuous improvement.