In May 2011, the first UTZ Standard Committee meeting took place. Now, six years later, we have to say goodbye to some of the ‘pioneers’ that have been with us for the three term maximum established by the committee.

“At UTZ, we have been extraordinarily happy to be supported by such magnificent experts that have been key to develop the new code system. Their commitment, insights and experiences have been crucial to make the UTZ code system as appreciated and strong as it is today. While we are busy renewing our Standards Committee with fresh expertise, we also hope we can continue to count on their support in the future”. Britta Wyss Bisang, Program Director at UTZ.

We would like to extend a special thanks to:

  • Winaryo Suyono, certification body representative from Indonesia
  • Stephanie Daniels, NGO representative from the USA
  • Leonardo Sánchez, individual expert from Costa Rica
  • Ximena Rueda, producer representative from Colombia
  • Hugo Byrnes, industry representative from the Netherlands
  • Jürg Niederhäusern, industry representative from Switzerland
  • Jean-Yves Coulod, producer representative from Côte d’Ivoire

Five of the departing Standard Committee “pioneers”

About the Standards Committee

The Standards Committee is responsible for discussing, considering and deciding on the feedback and approval of the Code of Conduct and Product Modules. It consists of between eight and twelve individuals with recognized expertise in standards and certification, important aspects of the UTZ program or specific expertise on the UTZ products. Members are appointed by the Supervisory Board after being proposed by the UTZ Executive Team. The composition of the Standards Committee represents the various stakeholders involved in the different UTZ programs (i.e. coffee, tea, cocoa, rooibos, and hazelnut) with a balanced representation of producers, industry, NGO (or individual experts), Certification Bodies and UTZ staff representatives.

The Standards Committee and the intended merger with the Rainforest Alliance

As shared earlier this year, UTZ and the Rainforest Alliance have the intention to merge into a new organization. The aim is to publish one new standard by early 2019. This standard will build upon the best elements of the current SAN and UTZ standards for sustainable agriculture, with insight from a range of stakeholders. It will provide a framework for farmers to improve their livelihoods while protecting the landscapes where they live and work. Developing the standard is no doubt a crucial task that will need the support of great experts and practitioners in the sector. We are very much looking forward to building the new Standard Committee and selecting the people who will help build the new organization’s standard.

Read more about the intended merger of UTZ and the Rainforest Alliance.