Updated on September 30, 2019
Highlighting the benefits of the UTZ program within your company starts with understanding the impact of the program. The impact of certification starts with helping farmers grow better crops. Below we outline how we do this and provide some resources that can help you communicate the impact of the UTZ program, both internally and externally.
Better methods = better crop
Better farming methods are at the center of the UTZ program. When farmers and cooperatives join the program, they learn how to make efficient use of land, water, fertilizer and manpower. This includes things like understanding the best way to apply fertilizer and learning how to implement new irrigation techniques. Farmers also learn the right way to plant, maintain and harvest crops. This entails everything from planting shade trees and using sticky traps to capture pests to learning better plucking and pruning methods for optimal growth. Beyond planting and harvesting, farmers develop record-keeping and management plans as well as techniques for managing risks such as persistent drought or excessive rainfall. With these new skills under their belt, farmers are better equipped to produce bigger yields and healthier, higher quality crops at lower costs. This in turn can lead to higher incomes as they can get more money for their harvests. “We learned that without pruning, you won’t have a good yield,” Enoch Mensah, an UTZ certified cocoa farmer in Ghana, explains. “After you’ve applied the fertilizer, every part of the plant is functioning properly. If it develops new shoots and you don’t remove them, they’re going to consume much of the nutrients that you’ve already invested into the plant.” On top of this, the UTZ program helps farmers get better market access by helping them form strong relationships between farmers and buyers and ensuring they receive a variable premium on top of the market price for their crop.
The proof is in the impact
We as an organization are constantly measuring our impact through studies carried out by independent researchers and third parties. By doing this, we can see the impact we are making in real numbers and through feedback from the farmers themselves. In an impact study of the UTZ cocoa program in Côte d’Ivoire, for example, more than a third of certified farmers mentioned the quality of the cocoa had improved since certification and their average yield was higher than that of non-certified farmers.
Albertino Meza Ojeda, who manages a coffee cooperative in Peru also points out the importance of a good quality for the future of coffee:
We also heard from Kouassi Kouame, a cocoa farmer in Côte d’Ivoire about the practical knowledge he gained from the UTZ program: These are just some of the impacts that keep us moving forward and let us and our partners know what we’ve achieved together.
Share the impact of UTZ certification in your communications
Use these materials in your own work. Integrating facts and real quotes from farmers helps illustrate the true impact of the UTZ program. Browse through our impact facts and testimonials from farmers for use in your own communications. Have any questions or maybe you’re looking for a different type of content? Feel free to send us an email.