Low productivity is a problem for many hazelnut farmers, and this is a sector that has been associated with child labor and poor conditions for migrant workers. The UTZ program is the world’s largest certification program for cocoa, and four of our cocoa partner companies – Migros/Delica, Natra, Rewe Group and Jumbo Supermarkets – joined forces with UTZ in 2014 to start the hazelnut program. Ever since, the UTZ hazelnut program brings together a strong coalition of over a hundred market players worldwide to tackle these sustainability challenges.
The journey so far
The UTZ progam is the first independent, third party certification program in the hazelnut sector. Working together with farmers, traders, NGO’s and governments is what we are good at. Together we are driving improvement of productivity and social issues. Over two hundred hazelnut products already carry the UTZ label. And farmers appreciate the focus on good agricultural practices, as this contributes to an increased productivity on hazelnut farms.
Over 6.800 hazelnut farmers now apply the UTZ standards for sustainable farming. Connected to 80% of the largest exporters.
In parallel, we work of the prevention and elimination of child labor on UTZ certified farms.
Child labor is a complex problem that we cannot tackle on our own. We are working with other local and international organizations, finding ways to collaborate and complement our program.
World wide program
Turkey produces three quarters of the world’s hazelnuts. Therefore our efforts and commitment are focused on this country. Nevertheless, to truly enable sector change, the hazelnut program has opened up to other producing countries as well.
We work with over a hundred members including many of the major supply chain actors and producers in the hazelnut sector. We look forward to increasing the demand for sustainable hazelnuts and scaling up the program in the field, reaching out to more farmers in the years to come from countries all over the world.
Want to know more? Read our program overview, (also available in Turkish).
You can find information on the costs for members of the UTZ hazelnut program here and this is how you can use the UTZ label on your product packaging.