We are pleased to announce that UTZ’s leadership team has been strengthened with the appointment of a new Global Markets Director, Justin Leavenworth.
Justin will focus on leading UTZ’s relationships with companies around the world, helping them to put sustainability at the core of their business practices. His expertise lies in strategic business growth and transformation, and he brings with him more than 20 years of business experience across the United States, Latin America and Asia.
Most recently Justin worked for THNK, the School of Creative Leadership, which aims to find innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing and inspiring challenges. Previously he developed the market for sustainably farmed beef in the United States and Latin America, as well as founding a consultancy that works with major companies to develop culturally targeted branding.
“This is an exciting time to be joining UTZ,” said Justin. “Sustainability is higher on the business agenda than ever before, and every company is taking its own path. With its global reach and its mission to make sustainable farming the norm, UTZ is a strong partner that can support companies on this journey.”
At the same time, the former Markets Director, Daan de Vries, has taken on the new role of Innovation and Technology Director. His role includes extending UTZ certification to other products, partnering on special sustainability programs with leading companies in the sector, and the development of ICT for agriculture.
As Program Director, Britta Wyss Bisang has strategic oversight of the UTZ certification standards and their implementation around the world. In addition, Britta is responsible for the delivery of a major new program focused on sector level change in issues like child labor, climate change and living wages.
The team continues to be led by Han de Groot, Executive Director. “UTZ has grown rapidly, to the point where we now reach more than a million farmers and workers, and UTZ labeled products are on the shelves in 136 countries around the world. But we know that we can do more,” said Han. “We continue to drive growth in supply and demand for certified products. In the coming years we will also be forming new partnerships to tackle the structural challenges faced by farmers, as well as finding new ways to work with the major companies who have the reach to transform the market for cocoa, coffee, tea and other products. These changes to the leadership team will strengthen UTZ for the years ahead.”