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UTZ Certified

UTZ Certified coffee was grown and harvested in a sustainable way. UTZ stands for sustainable farming and better opportunities for farmers, their families and our planet.

Since 2018 UTZ merged with the Rainforest Alliance to create an International standard with greater reach which can impact and improve more conditions for sustainable farming.

The Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade International are different organizations that share similar missions and goals.

The Rainforest Alliance and UTZ merged in 2018 in response to the critical challenges facing humanity: deforestation, climate change, systemic poverty, and social inequity. We combined our respective strengths to build a future in which nature is protected and biodiversity flourishes; where farmers, workers, and communities prosper; and where sustainable land use and responsible business practices are the norm.

The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization working at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests to make responsible business the new normal. We are an alliance of companies, farmers, forest communities, and consumers committed to creating a world where people and nature thrive in harmony.

In 2002 the program was launched as ‘UTZ kapeh’ (pronounced o͞otz kahpāy) by a Belgian-Guatemalan coffee farmer and a Dutch coffee roaster, meaning ‘good coffee’ in the Guatemalan Mayan language of Quiché. In 2007 the name changed to UTZ Certified when cocoa and later tea were added to the program and shortened to UTZ in 2016.

The UTZ program takes a holistic approach to sustainability, balancing social, environmental, and economic considerations. The 3Ps – People, Planet and Profit – provide a great framework to show the positive impact of the UTZ program; from better quality crops and higher yields to better working conditions and protection of the environment.

The main way that farmers in the UTZ program improve their incomes is by growing better crops and improving their access to buyers. In addition, they receive a variable premium (cash amount) for their certified products. This premium is negotiated between the farmer (group) and the first buyer, normally a trader.

Training is key to the success of the UTZ program. It’s how farmers learn about sustainable agricultural practices and how to improve yields, care for their workers and look after the environment. With more than 1.4 million farmers and workers part of the program, UTZ cannot train them all ourselves. That’s why they use the train-the-trainer approach.

Our program is all about impact; we exist to help create better farming and a better future. To know that what we do really works we need to measure the benefits of joining the UTZ program for farmers. Monitoring and evaluation are a key part of our program and we invest in studies that assess the economic, social and environmental impact of the program.

Gender equality is vital to achieving a sustainable future in agriculture. The UTZ program is committed to improving gender equality on all our farms and empowers female farm workers and owners to fulfil their potential. We address the topic in two ways: through the Code of Conduct, and through partnerships and projects at sector level.

Tackling child labour is at the core of the UTZ program. However, given the complexity of the topic, guarantees are almost impossible. No system can monitor every farm 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The UTZ child labour approach combines prevention, monitoring and remediation and builds partnerships to address the root causes of child labour.