Beyond improving farming practices, farmer groups can also play an important role in fighting norms within their communities. COAGRICSAL, a coffee and cocoa coop in Honduras, is doing just that. We talk with sustainability manager, Roberto Lopez, to find out about the work they’re doing to stop child labor across the country.Continue reading
Going the extra mile: how cooperative COAGRICSAL in Honduras is fighting child labor across the country
Beyond improving farming practices, farmer groups can also play an important role in fighting norms within their communities. COAGRICSAL, a coffee and cocoa coop in Honduras, is doing just that. We talk with sustainability manager, Roberto Lopez, to find out about the work they’re doing to stop child labor across the country.
More than just a delicious beverage – insights from Roberto Lopez, sustainability manager in Honduras
We talked with Roberto Lopez, sustainability manager at the COAGRICSAL cooperative in Honduras, about the challenges and rewards of his job supporting coffee and cocoa farmers across the region. He explains their motivations for certification, the role of companies in the supply chain, what’s in store for the future and more.
Leonie Haakshorst, Program Manager hazelnut: “Changing the hazelnut sector starts with understanding the challenges.”
UTZ’s hazelnut program launched in 2014 and has more than tripled in size since then. Understanding the program starts with understanding the sustainability concerns facing the sector. As we enter our fifth harvest, Leonie Haakshorst, manager of the UTZ hazelnut program, discusses with us the industry’s main challenges.
Josep Novell from Cafés Novell: “The consumer buys coffee because of its quality. If it’s certified, that’s a bonus.”
Josep Novell is CEO of Cafés Novell, a Spanish coffee roaster renowned for innovation. In 2002 the company became Spain’s first UTZ certified brand. We sat down with Josep to chat about the transition and lessons learned. “It’s difficult to explain the topic, but we have an opportunity to differentiate ourselves here in Spain.”
How one Indian coffee farmer group protects nature, empowers farmers and sets an example across a region
The Western Ghats Sustainable Farming Consortium is a coffee smallholder group in India dedicated to preserving the unique biodiversity of their region. We speak with Thribuvan Sathvik, member of the consortium, about how certification has improved their practices and how it’s empowering farmers to get more for their products.
In the early 2000s, coffee was in crisis. Colombian coffee farmer Juan Pablo Echeverri knew market connections were key to his business success. So he joined the UTZ progam, and is still enjoying the benefits today. “Certification opens doors. It’s up to you whether to walk through them or not.”
Agung Widi, from Kalimajari, a civil society organization working with cocoa farmers and Kerta Semaya Samaniya cocoa cooperative in Jembrana, Indonesia, explains how certification helped them become one of the top 50 cocoa producers in the world.
A 2017 study on market potential for certified coffee in Belgium reveals that 3rd party certification could become the norm if large roasters would commit to sustainable sourcing. It also shows that certification schemes should collaborate to help change the perception of certification from a cost to an investment for companies.
Ria Stout, Chief Regional Officer of the new Rainforest Alliance, wrote UTZ’s first certification standard. She has dedicated her life to both organizations, which are now joining forces to amplify and accelerate sustainability transformation around the world. She sheds her light on the exciting journey.
January 2018 marks an auspicious beginning for the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ, which have just formally merged into a new organization. Han de Groot, the CEO of the new Rainforest Alliance and the former executive director of UTZ, reflects on the shared vision that brought the two organizations together.