YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Top 10 FAQ

  • How is UTZ better for People, Planet & Profit?

    At UTZ, we take a a holistic approach to sustainability, balancing social, environmental and economic considerations. The 3Ps – People, Planet and Profit – provide a great framework to show the positive impact of UTZ; from better quality crops and higher yields, to better working conditions and protection of the environment.

    Read more
  • Do UTZ certified farmers get paid a premium?

    The main way that farmers in the UTZ program improve their incomes is by growing better crops and improving their access to buyers. In addition, they receive a variable premium (cash amount) for their certified products. This premium is negotiated between the farmer (group) and the first buyer, normally a trader.

    Read more
  • What does the name UTZ mean?

    In 2002 our program was launched as ‘UTZ kapeh’ (pronounced o͞otz kahpāy) by a Belgian-Guatemalan coffee farmer and a Dutch coffee roaster, meaning ‘good coffee’ in the Guatemalan Mayan language of Quiché. In 2007 the name changed to UTZ Certified when cocoa and later tea were added to the program and shortened to UTZ in 2016.

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  • What is mass balance?

    When a company purchases UTZ certified cocoa using mass balance, it means that the certified cocoa was produced by an UTZ certified farmer, but was not kept physically separated from non-UTZ cocoa throughout the whole supply chain. Therefore the UTZ cocoa might not have ended up in the UTZ labeled product but in other products.

    Read more
  • Why do I pay more for certified products?

    Sustainable coffee, cocoa or tea is an investment in a better future for farmers, workers and our planet. This costs time and money. UTZ farmers need e.g. training to improve their practices and comply with the UTZ rules. Sustainable products are often more expensive as over time it helps to cover the costs of these investments.

    Read more
  • How does UTZ train farmers?

    Training is key to success at UTZ. It’s how farmers learn about sustainable agricultural practices and how to improve yields, care for their workers and look after the environment. With more than 1.2 million farmers and workers part of UTZ, we cannot train them all ourselves. That’s why we use the train-the-trainer approach.

    Read more
  • Does the UTZ label guarantee no child labor?

    Tackling child labor is at the core of the UTZ program. However, given the complexity of the topic, guarantees are almost impossible. No system can monitor every farm 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. UTZ’ approach combines prevention, monitoring and remediation and builds partnerships to address the root causes of child labor.

    Read more
  • How does UTZ promote gender equality?

    Gender equality is vital to achieving a sustainable future in agriculture. UTZ is committed to improving gender equality on all our farms and empowers female farm workers and owners to fulfill their potential. We address the topic in two ways: through the Code of Conduct, and through partnerships and projects at sector level.

    Read more
  • What’s the latest on the UTZ-RA merger?

    In June 2017 UTZ and Rainforest Alliance announced their intention to merge later this year. We see this as an exciting development giving us a greater reach and a stronger voice, creating even more impact for farmers, communities, and our planet. Our goal is to publish a new unified standard early 2019.

    Read more
  • What is the impact of UTZ for farmers?

    UTZ is all about impact; we exist to help create better farming and a better future. To know that what we do really works we need to measure the benefits of joining UTZ for farmers. Monitoring and evaluation are a key part of our program and we invest in studies that assess the economic, social and environmental impact of UTZ.

    Read more

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About UTZ

  • What does the name UTZ mean?

    In 2002 our program was launched as ‘UTZ kapeh’ (pronounced o͞otz kahpāy) by a Belgian-Guatemalan coffee farmer and a Dutch coffee roaster, meaning ‘good coffee’ in the Guatemalan Mayan language of Quiché. In 2007 the name changed to UTZ Certified when cocoa and later tea were added to the program and shortened to UTZ in 2016.

    Read more
  • What is the UTZ program about?

    It’s as easy as nine icons. Our simple and interactive visual gets to the core of the UTZ mission and method. The ‘UTZ wheel’ shows what requirements farmers need to implement in order to become UTZ certified, and what benefits those efforts lead to. How better farming leads to a better future for farmers, workers and families.

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  • How big is UTZ?

    UTZ is a truly global program, working with more than 1.2 million farmers and workers. UTZ coffee, cocoa and tea are grown in 41 countries and certified products can be bought in 130 countries. In 2016, enough certified products were sold to make 38 billion cups of coffee, 15 billion bars of chocolate and 3 billion cups of tea.

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  • What products does UTZ work on?

    We have certification standards for four crops: coffee, cocoa, tea and hazelnuts. UTZ’s approach is all about maximizing impact. By focusing on particular crops and addressing their specific challenges we can create impact across whole sectors. Also UTZ works with others to make the rice and vanilla sectors more sustainable.

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  • What’s the latest on the UTZ-RA merger?

    In June 2017 UTZ and Rainforest Alliance announced their intention to merge later this year. We see this as an exciting development giving us a greater reach and a stronger voice, creating even more impact for farmers, communities, and our planet. Our goal is to publish a new unified standard early 2019.

    Read more
  • How credible is the UTZ standard?

    It’s all about transparency and our assurance model. UTZ has its standards publicly available, a traceability system in place to track UTZ products throughout the supply chain and regular independent, third party audits carried out under strict guidelines. Also monitoring and evaluation are key and we’re open about our impact.

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  • What is the revenue model of UTZ?

    UTZ is a not-for-profit organization financed mostly by the volume based program fees companies pay. We don’t charge our customers for using the UTZ label and don’t aim to make a profit because we reinvest all our income to develop and expand our programs. Approximately 25% of our total revenue comes from donor funding.

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  • How does UTZ certification work?

    The certifcation process can seem complex from the outside. It’s a combination of clear standards, effective training, a strict audit system and traceability from farm to shelf, bringing many different people and actions together. Knowing how it all works helps you understanding the true value of the UTZ label.

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  • What is the cost of certification?

    There are costs involved in certification. We often see there is confusion around the terms ‘UTZ premium’ and ‘cost of certification’ or ‘sustainability costs.’ These are not the same. Our infographic will help you understand the difference. It breaks down the costs of certification and shows clearly who pays what to whom.

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  • Is certification enough to reach sustainability?

    Certification has been proven effective. Worldwide UTZ is improving the lives of more than 1.2 million farmers, workers and their families. However some issues, like child labor and climate change, have causes beyond the farm level and must be addressed in a systemic way with governments, civil society and the private sector.

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  • What is the Sector Partnerships Program?

    In 2016 the Sector Partnerships Program was launched i.c.w. the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to strengthen our work and drive change across sectors. It addresses six key sustainability themes in nine countries: living wage, climate change, farmer group strengthening, sustainable productivity, gender and child labor.

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  • What is traceability?

    Traceability is about knowing where a product comes from. It’s the foundation of the UTZ program. We use an online system that records every sale and purchase of UTZ certified products throughout the whole supply chain, following the origin and flow from the farmer to the brand or retailer. This leads to transparency and trust.

    Read more
  • How is UTZ better for People, Planet & Profit?

    At UTZ, we take a a holistic approach to sustainability, balancing social, environmental and economic considerations. The 3Ps – People, Planet and Profit – provide a great framework to show the positive impact of UTZ; from better quality crops and higher yields, to better working conditions and protection of the environment.

    Read more
  • How is UTZ cocoa better for the environment?

    The main environmental issues in cocoa farming are deforestation and climate change. Deforestation is banned in the UTZ program. Instead farmers are trained to improve their crop and increase their yields. Through good agricultural practices (e.g. planting shade trees), farmers are able to adapt to the effects of climate change.

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  • How is UTZ coffee better for the environment?

    Water management and climate change are two key issues in coffee production. UTZ coffee farmers are trained in good agricultural practices like water recycling and purification to tackle the problems caused by coffee processing. They also learn methods to adapt to climate change and reduce the negative impact on the environment.

    Read more
  • Does the UTZ label guarantee no child labor?

    Tackling child labor is at the core of the UTZ program. However, given the complexity of the topic, guarantees are almost impossible. No system can monitor every farm 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. UTZ’ approach combines prevention, monitoring and remediation and builds partnerships to address the root causes of child labor.

    Read more
  • What are the social benefits of the UTZ program?

    UTZ certification contributes to a better life for farmers, workers and their families. Farmers can improve their incomes and workers must be paid a decent wage. The UTZ program covers better living conditions and a safe and healthy work environment for farmers and workers. Tackling child labor is also a very important topic.

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Our work with farmers

  • What is the impact of UTZ for farmers?

    UTZ is all about impact; we exist to help create better farming and a better future. To know that what we do really works we need to measure the benefits of joining UTZ for farmers. Monitoring and evaluation are a key part of our program and we invest in studies that assess the economic, social and environmental impact of UTZ.

    Read more
  • How does UTZ train farmers?

    Training is key to success at UTZ. It’s how farmers learn about sustainable agricultural practices and how to improve yields, care for their workers and look after the environment. With more than 1.2 million farmers and workers part of UTZ, we cannot train them all ourselves. That’s why we use the train-the-trainer approach.

    Read more
  • How do you know UTZ farmers follow the rules?

    When a farmer joins UTZ, he needs to follow our rules for sustainable farming in order to become certified. The Code of Conduct includes requirements on good agricultural practices, farm management, and social and environmental protection. Farms are visited and audited every year by independent, accredited auditing companies.

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  • How does UTZ work on Living Wage?

    An important step towards making sure farm workers are paid a living wage is to identify how much this would be in the regions where UTZ has certified farms. To get reliable benchmarks for the living wage in different countries, UTZ collaborates with six other leading sustainability standards in the Global Living Wage Coalition.

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  • How does UTZ work on tackling climate change?

    It’s increasingly clear that rising temperatures and erratic weather patterns are a threat to agriculture and the lives of people who depend on it. UTZ trains farmers to adapt to the effects of climate change e.g. by implementing good farming methods and to mitigate their own contribution to it by lowering their GHG emissions.

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  • How does UTZ work on tackling child labor?

    Child labor is prohibited on UTZ certified farms. Despite the requirements of the UTZ program, it’s impossible to guarantee a complete stop to child labor. To find real solutions UTZ’ approach combines prevention, monitoring and remediation and builds strong partnerships to address the root causes of child labor on sector level.

    Read more
  • How does UTZ promote gender equality?

    Gender equality is vital to achieving a sustainable future in agriculture. UTZ is committed to improving gender equality on all our farms and empowers female farm workers and owners to fulfill their potential. We address the topic in two ways: through the Code of Conduct, and through partnerships and projects at sector level.

    Read more
  • Do UTZ certified farmers get paid a premium?

    The main way that farmers in the UTZ program improve their incomes is by growing better crops and improving their access to buyers. In addition, they receive a variable premium (cash amount) for their certified products. This premium is negotiated between the farmer (group) and the first buyer, normally a trader.

    Read more
  • How does UTZ help farmers get a better income?

    UTZ farmers increase their income by growing better crops through training, increasing their productivity and reducing their costs. They can negotiate a better price for a better quality product. In addition, UTZ farmers improve their access to buyers and receive a variable premium on top of the market price for their crop.

    Read more
  • Are UTZ farmers allowed to use pesticides?

    Pests and diseases are a constant threat for farmers, who depend on healthy crops for their livelihood. However chemical pesticides can risk the health of the workers who apply them, as well as damage the environment. UTZ certified farmers are trained to use (non-chemical) alternatives, so that pesticides are a last resort.

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Our work with companies

  • What are the benefits of joining UTZ as a company?

    More and more companies recognize the benefits of sustainable sourcing. UTZ is a smart choice for your certification and sustainability needs, because of our low costs, broad supply from 40+ origins, traceability throughout the supply chain, proven credibility and a dedication to empower farmers around the world.

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  • How can I help my suppliers get UTZ certified?

    Whether your supplier is a coffee roaster, cocoa manufacturer, tea blender or trader the four steps they need to take to get UTZ certified are the same:
    1. Register with UTZ
    2. Read the Chain of Custody Standard and comply with its requirements
    3. Complete a certification audit – if required
    4. Use the UTZ traceability system

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  • How can my brand use the UTZ label?

    The UTZ label can be used on or off-pack by members that buy UTZ certified products. For on-pack labeling members must follow an online labeling approval procedure, and use the right logo with the correct claim. The UTZ label is a guarantee for brands and consumers that their purchase supports sustainable farming.

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  • Does UTZ have data on consumer awareness?

    We do not have any specific data on consumer recognition of the UTZ label. However we do know from a number of independent studies that consumers around the world are increasingly conscious of sustainability. This means they want to know more about where their products come from and how they were made.

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  • How do I ensure a smooth audit process?

    Having an uninterrupted, valid certificate is a prerequisite for running your business with UTZ smoothly. Understanding the roles of UTZ, the Certification Body of your choice and yourself in the certification process helps to ensure your audit goes without a hitch. And some practical tips also help you get the best out of it.

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  • How do you know companies follow UTZ’s rules?

    Companies such as chocolate manufacturers, coffee roasters, or tea blenders have to follow strict rules on how they source and handle UTZ certified products. These rules are brought together in the UTZ Chain of Custody. Certified companies are audited every one to three years by independent, accredited auditing companies.

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  • Why do I pay more for certified products?

    Sustainable coffee, cocoa or tea is an investment in a better future for farmers, workers and our planet. This costs time and money. UTZ farmers need e.g. training to improve their practices and comply with the UTZ rules. Sustainable products are often more expensive as over time it helps to cover the costs of these investments.

    Read more
  • What does UTZ do with the program and membership fees?

    Our main source of funding comes from the program fee, paid by companies who buy UTZ produce in the supply chain, such as traders and roasters. There is also a membership fee related to the cocoa and hazelnut programs. Together these fees cover the running costs of our two main programs, coffee and cocoa.

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  • What is mass balance?

    When a company purchases UTZ certified cocoa using mass balance, it means that the certified cocoa was produced by an UTZ certified farmer, but was not kept physically separated from non-UTZ cocoa throughout the whole supply chain. Therefore the UTZ cocoa might not have ended up in the UTZ labeled product but in other products.

    Read more
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