The Rainforest Alliance and UTZ, two of the world’s leading sustainability certification programs, have announced the intention to merge later this year.  

The new organization, to be named the Rainforest Alliance, will tackle environmental and social issues around the world, including climate change, child labor, deforestation, and unsustainable farming among others.

This is an exciting development giving us a greater reach and a stronger voice, creating even more impact for farmers, communities, and our planet.

Stronger together

Together, the new organization will act as an advocate for change, continuing to protect the natural environment, striving to make sustainable agriculture and forest management the norm, an aim that is already at the core of the mission of both UTZ and the Rainforest Alliance.

Our merger will enable us to innovate across our business activities, to invest in new technologies, and to advocate for the policy changes needed to create a world where people and the planet thrive together.

By adopting the name Rainforest Alliance we will carry forward a strong public-facing identity and build on the well-established engagement with consumers. By joining forces, we will provide a leading platform to help increase consumer demand for responsibly sourced products.

Once the two organizations have merged, Han de Groot, current Executive Director of UTZ, will be the CEO. Nigel Sizer, current President of the Rainforest Alliance, will take on the role of Chief Program Officer, Advocacy, Landscapes and Livelihoods.

Han de Groot, Executive Director, UTZ says:

The challenges we work on are more urgent than ever. The future Rainforest Alliance will have a bigger reach and stronger voice, allowing it to better protect the natural environment and allow farmers, businesses and consumers to make even more responsible choices, more easily. We have a history of continuous growth and strong partnerships – this new venture will give us more influence to bring us closer to our mission: a world where sustainable farming will be the norm.

Better services, better solutions

We believe that working together as one organization will enable us to deliver greater value to our stakeholders.  As a truly global organization, we will now have a broader reach with greater ability to provide you with better services and better solutions to your urgent challenges.

Our goal is to publish a new unified standard in early 2019. Until then, both programs will continue to provide you with the same services they currently offer.

What does that mean for you in practice? The two programs will continue to operate in parallel until a new standard is published. There is no need to, for example, change your existing packaging or materials now, and you can continue using the UTZ logo or the Rainforest Alliance seal as normal for the foreseeable future.

We will get in touch with you in the fall with more information about the timeline for the coming period. Please rest assured that you will have plenty of time to make any transition in the future should it be necessary.

More information

Get answers to your five burning questions and check our merger page for more information. In case you have other questions, comments, or would like to discuss this with us in more detail, please do not hesitate to get in touch! Contact your account manager or feel free to send an email to membersupport@utz.org.