By joining UTZ, farmers receive the support and knowledge they need to improve their agricultural practices and increase productivity. And that means better yields of higher quality crops – great for farmers, buyers and consumers. But environmental factors can have a big impact on productivity too – and that’s why protecting nature and a better environment are key parts of the UTZ program.
A coffee farmer from Dakman Vietnam Ltd stated that:
Before UTZ certification, farmers used to apply pesticides widely and uncontrolled agrochemicals. As a result, important insects such as ants disappeared; the environment was polluted causing bad effects for the people and the community.
Environmental factors such as pollution from pesticides and other chemicals can have a big impact on agricultural productivity, while climate change brings increased temperatures, and more droughts and storms that can affect water supplies, increase pests and diseases, damage plants and cause soil erosion – all bad news for farmers.
So that’s why, when a farmer joins UTZ he or she learns how to protect the environment around the farm and also how to adapt the farm and agricultural practices to a changing climate.
The results can be significant, as a recent study among coffee farmers in Colombia showed – UTZ farmers were found to be more resilient to the effects of climate change and other environmental factors, with non-UTZ farmers experiencing more negative impacts.