Gaining insight into the impact of the UTZ program is crucial for continuous improvement of our standards. That is why UTZ invests importantly in monitoring and evaluation. UTZ collects data directly from producers at the time of their registration, from auditors during the certification process and through its traceability system. UTZ commissions impact evaluations that focus mainly on changes at farmer level, and are carried out by independent researchers whose work meets scientific standards, such as the international Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA) and the Dutch Agricultural University of Wageningen, LEI. Studies are regularly commissioned in partnership with colleague organizations such as the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative IDH and Solidaridad. The findings of such studies provide vital input for the revision cycles of our Codes of Conduct, as performed every four years. Better insight into impact eventually leads to better results of our work, to the benefit of all UTZ certified farms.
Why a monitoring & evaluation program?
The adoption of the UTZ standard by producers and supply chain actors is a means to enable farmers to achieve sustainable farming and not an end in itself. Farmers interact with and are influenced by their natural environment, the local community, markets, government policies and other actors in the supply chain. Therefore, UTZ takes a systematic approach and monitors changes at the level of farmers as well as the context they operate in. The monitoring and evaluation (M&E) program aims to capture the most important changes brought about by farmers and chain actors that have adopted the UTZ standard.
What does UTZ do with the results? Proving and improving
To UTZ, it is important to continuously improve the program in order to meet the needs of various actors in the supply chain, above all those of the farmers, their workers and families. This way, UTZ ensures that the program is regularly revised and adapted to the changing context and the evolving situation of the farmers. One important function of M&E is to provide evidence of outcomes and impact (“to prove”). Another main function is to learn from our practice and improve our work (“to improve”).
Over the years, UTZ has commissioned independent baseline and impact studies on cocoa in Ghana and Ivory Coast, tea in Malawi and Kenya, and coffee in Vietnam, Brazil and Colombia. The full reports and 2 page summaries are published on the commissioned studies page alongside UTZ’s management response.
UTZ welcomes feedback on evaluation reports and M&E system documents
- the intended impacts and outcomes (Theory of Change and M&E framework),
- the most significant unintended effects (M&E system report) and
- the scope and boundaries of the M&E system (M&E system report).
For questions and comments, please contact us via the M&E Department.