Why Tracing Products Matters
Why do farmers, companies and consumers trust the UTZ program?
For one because they know that when they see an UTZ label they can be sure the certified ingredients sourced for the product have been traced all the way from field to shop shelf, every stage of its journey documented. This gives assurance to consumers and does good for farmers and conscientious companies.
Good for consumers
Where else can consumers buy a product, type a couple of details into a website, and read about the farmer who grew the coffee, tea, cocoa or hazelnut product they hold in their hand? The trust this builds is priceless.
Good For Business
Until recently companies mainly traced products in order to optimize their supply chains. It was a way to reduce costs or manage risks, to speed up delivery or trace bad shipments.
We are now seeing a shift where sustainability is becoming a driving force for supply chain traceability. Issues such as global warming, natural resource depletion and food security have become important issues in today’s corporate reality. Traceability can be used to make supply chains more transparent, to identify possible weak spots and to work on further improvements.
Good for farmers
Being able to trace their own products allows producers to track farm development, increase production efficiency, lower costs and gain access to new markets. Not only does supply chain information build trust, it really strengthens credibility for buyers and sellers, making it possible for all parties to negotiate good prices for sustainable products.
To create sustainable supply chains and assure credibility, three important factors need to be in place.
Certification: The UTZ program consists of clear standards to ensure producers are farming in a more sustainable way. Producers only become certified once they meet these standards. The UTZ standards for certification can be found in our Code of Conduct.
Administration: all administration is controlled through our traceability systems: MultiTrace (for coffee and hazelnut) and the Good Inside Portal (for cocoa and tea), which means we can assure consumers and supply chain members that their product truly relates to certified sources.
Validation: to assure compliance with our traceability procedures, we require that everyone throughout the supply chain is regularly audited. These audits are carried out by independent third party auditors and need to be performed under strict guidelines. These guidelines, ensuring credibility and transparency throughout the chain, can be found in the UTZ Certification Protocol.
The Good Inside Portal (for cocoa and tea)
UTZ’s Good Inside Portal is one of the world’s leading traceability systems. It is fully automated, making traceability reliable, accurate and efficient. It is a flexible system that can be used for different types of traceability including segregation (where certified crops are kept separate from harvesting through production and manufacturing) and mass balance (where supply chains of certified and conventional crops come together to ensure maximum investment at the farmers’ level).
MultiTrace (for coffee and hazelnuts)
MultiTrace lays the foundation for future innovations. In our new vision of certification, the data flow starts at the farmer and in time, this should come to include the smallholder farmer. The future ability to access farmer data and tap into other data sources, will create a more holistic view of the supply chain. This will give us all better insights to act upon, so that together we can contribute to a world where people and nature thrive in harmony.