Updated on June 11th, 2019

In today’s globalized world you probably use products from all over the world before you even leave the house in the morning. You might gulp down a cup of coffee from Brazil, put on a t-shirt made in Bangladesh, use a toothbrush made in China, and eat a banana grown in Uganda.

UTZ products_on-the-shelf-coffee_consumerConsumers are increasingly conscious of the origins of their favorite products, and the complex supply chains that can hide unsustainable practices. They hear companies talk about sustainability, but they want to know if they practice what they preach.

That’s where traceability comes in.

Traceability = Transparency = Trust

Traceability is about knowing where a product comes from. It’s about making sure there are rigorous systems behind the scenes to make sure sustainable products are truly linked to sustainable sources.

This translates into transparency about your business practices, which strengthens your sustainability story. It shows consumers they can trust you when you talk about sustainability.

Traceability in the UTZ program

Transactions Good Inside Portal_UTZ traceabilityTraceability is the foundation of the UTZ program. We use an online system, called MultiTrace for coffee and hazelnuts and the Good Inside Portal for cocoa and tea. These systems record every sale and purchase of UTZ certified products throughout the whole supply chain, following the origin and flow from the farmer to the brand or retailer.

The same online system is even used to make sure that the UTZ label is used correctly on pack, and only by companies who have really sourced UTZ certified ingredients. Some brands even use this system to make a product directly traceable for consumers, so they can find out which specific farm(s) their product came from.traceability icons_portrait_small

So when a consumer sees the UTZ label on a product, they can be sure that the company or brand sourced coffee, cocoa, tea or hazelnuts from a farm that operates sustainably with respect for people and the planet.

It all comes down to loyalty

By understanding traceability and its importance in creating transparency, brands can build trust with their customers. When a customer can trust a brand, they feel loyal to it and want to share it with others. This strengthens a brand’s reputation and creates more awareness about sustainable practices throughout the industry as a whole.

Computer-webinar-massbalanceDo you want to know more about traceability? Do you need help telling the traceability story to your colleagues? We are happy to help! Contact us by email or watch a recording of our webinar Trust & Traceability with inspiring communication examples from our partners.