Sugarcane – the world’s largest crop by mass produced – has received considerable attention recently regarding ethical and sustainable production concerns. However, the supply chains are complex and global in scope; sugar goes through multiple production stages in various regions, each with unique sustainability challenges. Understanding the conditions for sustainable global sugarcane consumption necessitates identifying risks and impacts manifesting throughout supply chains.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from N8 Universities (York, Leeds, Sheffield, and Lancaster) linking with Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and BonSucro plan to address this knowledge gap for sugarcane supply chains, and determine where social risks and impacts are prevalent – by reviewing the landscape of indicators and data sources suitable for integration into supply chain impact and risk assessment. Prioritisation of key social indicators – based on a collaborative, interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder assessment of key social risks – will be followed by a proof of concept application within a powerful supply chain modelling framework, with the intention of embedding outcomes of this project in future interdisciplinary research programmes that explore ‘whole systems’ food resilience and sustainability.