One stronger organization to maximize impact around the world. That’s the main driver for the intended merger with the Rainforest Alliance. The new Rainforest Alliance will create a single agriculture sustainability standard, simplify the certification process and provide you with better services and better solutions for your needs. So what does this really mean for your business? We can imagine you have plenty of questions you want to ask. Here are the answers to 5 burning questions:

1. The new organization is going to be called the Rainforest Alliance. Why have you chosen this name and not a completely new name?

By adopting the name Rainforest Alliance we will carry forward into the new organization a strong public-facing identity that will allow us to continue to build on the well-established engagement of the name with consumers.

The Rainforest Alliance has a strong public facing presence in a number of key consumer markets around the world. It is a recognized and respected name in forestry conservation as well as supply chains. Of course we considered introducing a complete new name but concluded that this is not necessarily beneficial for our stakeholders. The name is a key asset we did not wish to lose in the merger.

Also, combining this name with the business and sector engagement expertise of UTZ means we can grow to be even stronger through the work of the new Rainforest Alliance.

2. Will there be only one label, that of the Rainforest Alliance?

It’s too early to tell, no decisions have been made yet on label and labeling policy. The brand architecture is to be discussed in the next phase, as soon as the merger is finalized. We will do this based on solid research and stakeholder consultation. Our aim is to create a consistent communication towards both consumers and companies we work with.

All specifics of the program, including the label, will be determined as part of the process of building our new organization. Which is on the agenda for 2018.

We will get back to you in the fall with more information about the timeline for the coming period. This will give you a better idea what to expect when. Please rest assured that you will have plenty of time to make any required transition in the future.

3. Will the costs go up for companies?

With this merger we believe that we will be able to deliver greater value to our Plant growing from jar with coins- cost of certificationstakeholders.  As a truly global organization, we will provide you with better services, better solutions to your needs and operate more (cost) efficiently.  We will communicate the exact fee structure as soon as possible, as part of the process of setting up our new organization. Until a new standard is published – hopefully early 2019 – both programs will continue in parallel to provide the same services that are currently offered, and maintain their current price.

4. What is the timeline for the entire merger process and when will I know more?

We are at the beginning of a process to create one stronger organization. In June we both signed a letter of intent to merge. The next step is to finalize the merger by becoming one organization. We expect to complete this step in the fall of 2017. The details of the program and practicalities will be determined as part of the process of building our new organization. This is on the agenda for 2018. Our goal is to publish one new standard in early 2019. We will get in touch with you in the fall with a more detailed timeline for the coming period.

5. What do I need to do now?

Nothing. Our goal is to publish one new standard in early 2019. In the meantime it’s business as usual. Until the new standard is published, both programs will work in parallel and continue to provide same services that they currently offer. There is no need to change your existing packaging or materials now, change contracts or start sourcing differently. You can continue using the UTZ logo or the Rainforest Alliance seal as normal for the foreseeable future.

Please rest assured that you will have plenty of time to make any transition in the future should it be necessary.

Tell your sustainability storyFeedback & more info

Let us know what you think, share your questions, happy thoughts or concerns. We’d love to hear your feedback. Leave a comment underneath this article, get in touch with your account manager or send an email to membersupport@utz.org.

For many more questions and answers in various languages and to stay up to date on all exciting developments check our merger page. Feel free to use the information on this page in your communications towards stakeholders as well!