Updated on June 27, 2019

The UTZ program is all about more sustainable practices and traceability in the supply chain. That’s why our partner companies can only use the UTZ label if all actors in their supply chain are certified too. So how can you get your suppliers on board? We’ve created a step-by-step plan to help. Whether your supplier is a coffee roaster, cocoa manufacturer, tea blender or trader the steps are the same.

Step 1: Register with the UTZ program

The first step is for your supplier to join the UTZ program. It’s as simple as visiting MultiTrace (for coffee and hazelnut) or the Good Inside Portal (for cocoa and tea) and filling in a registration form. We will contact them with a member ID and information on their next steps.

Step 2: Read the Chain of Custody Standard and comply with its requirements

The Chain of Custody Standard covers our requirements from documentation and record keeping to product segregation and labeling of your products.

Our Customer Success team will keep in touch with your supplier and help them to identify which requirements are relevant and how to comply. They will also tell your supplier what costs apply to them, if any.

Step 3: Complete a certification audit – if required

Some of your suppliers may need a certification audit before Audit in coffee warehousethey can become UTZ certified. The audit must be carried out by a registered certification body and paid for by the supplier. We work with a wide range of approved auditors worldwide to keep auditing costs low.

An audit is only required if your supplier:

  1. legally owns the UTZ certified product(s). (Did your supplier buy the product?)
  2. physically handles the UTZ certified product(s). (For example, is your supplier grinding or blending the product?)
  3. makes a product claim (B2B or B2C). (Is your supplier selling it on as a certified or sustainable product?)

If one or more of the above does not apply to your supplier, they don’t need an audit. Instead, they should contact our member support team to obtain a license for the UTZ traceability system.

traceability icons_portrait_smallStep 4: Start using the UTZ traceability system

Once your supplier has passed the registration and certification steps, they can access the member area of MultiTrace (for coffee and hazelnuts) or the Good Inside Portal (for cocoa and tea) and should start using the traceability system to record the trading and processing of UTZ certified products.

And remember, if you’re not sure if your supplier is already certified, you can check the list of companies with an UTZ license in the Member Directory of the Good Inside Portal. Very practical!

Mutual recognition of UTZ and Rainforest Alliance Chain of Custody and seals

As of July 1, 2019 mutual recognition on claim level is available for our cocoa, tea and hazelnut programs. This means that companies at the end of the supply chain can source Rainforest Alliance Certified or UTZ certified ingredients – or a mixture of both – and then use either the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal or UTZ label on pack, in accordance with the labeling rules of the respective program. This allows our partner companies to make decisions on which seal creates the most value for their brand.

This is in addition to the Chain of Custody Mutual Recognition that has been in place since December 2018, which allows all companies to purchase both UTZ certified and Rainforest certified ingredients while only having to be Chain of Custody audited for one of the current programs.

Need more help?

Our Customer Success team is there to guide you and your suppliers through the process. Simply get in touch at membersupport@utz.org and let your coffee roaster, tea blender or cocoa supplier join the UTZ program today!