In 2017 the Trade for Development Centre of the Belgian Development Agency (BTC) and UTZ in collaboration with Euromonitor International, conducted a study on market potential for certified coffee in Belgium (UTZ, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade). Over three months Euromonitor International interviewed leading stakeholders across the supply chain from East Africa to the leading supermarket retailers, traders and NGOs in Belgium.
Some highlights from the report:
Third-party certification is on its way to become the norm in Belgium because all major retailers have certified their private label coffee. Now it is up to the large roasters to commit and see the value of certification. This happened for example in Sweden and the Netherlands, where market share of certified coffee is among the highest in Europe (64% and 45% respectively), roasters are committed to sustainable sourcing via third-party certification partners. This helps to ensure farmers get long-term support beyond individual coffee brands commitments.
Certification programs should work together to help transform the image of third party certification from a cost to an investment with tangible return in terms of quality and visibility. There is confusion among many roasters about the differences between certification programs, their activities and impact on the quality of the coffee. Brands need greater transparency on the advantages of the programs and shown a clear link between how sourcing increasing volumes of certified coffee can positively impact their core business.
With the merger of UTZ and Rainforest Alliance, we are taking a step in the right direction and respond directly to coffee players’ requests for synergy between certification programs. By joining forces, we will reduce the complexity of the certification process for companies, stated in the report as one of the main obstacles. At the same time we will increase efficiency and flexibility so that we can continuously improve services to meet business needs.
Read the press release, summary and full report.