Juice first, crystals later
This is how we turn a grass plant into the sweetest crystal
Sustainability is the predominant factor in CAEI’s industrial processes. Our operations are not limited to producing high quality sugar, but also to creating social and environmental value in the communities near the factory and its farmlands. To accomplish this, the company relies on experienced men and women who share a common goal: to consolidate our brand in the national and international sugar market as a model of social, ecological, and financial sustainability.
Transforming sugarcane into sugar is a fascinating agro-industrial experience. Throughout this process, CAEI makes efficient use of its resources in the field, harvest, and factory, applying the most rigorous standards of quality, safety, and industrial hygiene. Our production chain includes several aspects: improving agricultural efficiency, reducing operating costs, optimizing yields per hectare, and guaranteeing manufacturing productivity.
In short, we refine each stage to produce the best sustainable sugar.
Sugar is made in the fields. In other words, without good quality sugarcane, the amount of sucrose diminishes. Therefore, in this first stage of the production chain, CAEI strives to ensure that their best sugarcane enters the mill. The Planting Management supervises every detail of the cultivation work, including fertilization, pest control, and the irrigation system. We currently have between 33,000 and 35,000 hectares planted with sugarcane. CAEI uses modern machinery to plow the fields. These machines are our ecological allies, as they break up the topsoil while aerating the topsoil.
How do we guarantee sustainability?
Biological pest control
Reduction in water use
Harvesting and Transportation
CAEI harvests and transports its sugarcane to the factory during the months of the harvest, from December to June each year. This first task involves specialized personnel and machinery. Our choppers are responsible for manual cutting, and to ensure that their work is carried out safely, the company conducts a training program on a diverse range of safety and industrial hygiene issues, including the correct handling of tools and the proper use of personal protective equipment.
For mechanical cutting, CAEI uses modern harvesters that have practically no impact on the environment. The use of this machinery guarantees safety and accuracy in the weighing and delivery of the sugarcane. Since sugarcane yield varies according to the time it spends in the field after being cut, the Transportation Department is responsible for promptly sending it to the factory in trucks or railroad cars.
A portion of the sugarcane that enters the mill comes from the fields of CAEI’s 88 authorized suppliers. To ensure that it meets the same quality and sustainability criteria, the company monitors the suppliers’ farms through the Sugarcane Supplier Alignment Program, a project that has strengthened the management of independent producers in the area, thanks to CAEI’s transfer of technology, knowledge and inputs.
Our inspectors make random visits to evaluate the performance of each farm, identifying good practices and opportunities for improvement. All sugarcane suppliers must comply with various administrative, safety, and industrial hygiene requirements. In addition, they are responsible for supplying protective equipment for their personnel, having first aid kits, providing drinking water to their pickers, and having an emergency plan in place.
At the end of each harvest, the three farms with the highest compliance scores are recognized by CAEI as safe farms.
To be able to chop sugarcane, our choppers must wear the following personal protective equipment:
How a combined harvester works
1. First, the stems must be trimmed
2. Then, they must be cut at the base
3. Next, cut them into small pieces
4. Remove any impurities
5. Finally, prepare the pieces for transportation
The result of sugarcane milling is a sweet crystal called sugar. Throughout the various stages of its fascinating production process, the factory aims to produce as much sucrose as possible. Once milling is complete, the extracted juice is transformed into sugars and honeys. CAEI carries out this process following the highest industry standards and fulfilling all production cycles in the shortest possible time.
How do we guarantee sustainability?
Control of atmospheric emissions
Reduction of dumping into bodies of water
Reduction of energy consumption
Adequate waste management
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy
Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Our factory is self-sufficient in terms of energy
What is biomass?
Organic matter that is used to generate steam or power. This fuel has minimal impact on the environment.
Where do we produce biomass?
In our acacia, leucaena, and eucalyptus energy farms.
How does it help the environment?
One megawatt from fossil fuels emits more than one ton of carbon dioxide. Biomass, on the other hand, has a neutral effect on the environment.
¿Cómo se transforma la caña en cristales de azúcar?
According to a popular saying in the industry, “sugar is made in the fields.” While it is true that a good cane is essential to produce a quality sweet, so is this fascinating space, where machines of different sizes and functions are combined to extract juices, purify guarapos and obtain sugar crystals. In the following graph we show you each stage of the process, from the moment the cane reaches the mills until its transformation into sugar and its derivatives …