UTZ works in partnership with nearly 60 UTZ approved certification bodies (CBs) who are responsible for conducting independent, third party audits to certify companies and farmers against the UTZ standards.
Can Certification Bodies Approved for the UTZ System Perform Audits for the Rainforest Alliance Certification System?
The Rainforest Alliance manages both the UTZ and Rainforest Alliance certification systems. However, until the new, integrated certification system currently in development becomes mandatory (which is expected by the end of 2020), each certification scheme will keep its own pool of certification bodies (CBs) and auditors, with the corresponding applicable rules for each. This means that CBs that are only authorized to carry out audits for the UTZ program are not allowed to perform audits for the Rainforest Alliance system. Vice versa, certification bodies that are only authorized to do audits for the Rainforest Alliance system cannot perform audits for the UTZ system. You can rest assured that once the new Rainforest Alliance certification system is in place, this will change and there will be an enhanced pool of CBs to choose from. Thank you for your understanding.
To offer certificate holders a broad choice of CBs, UTZ has always welcomed new applications from CBs that would like to become approved to conduct UTZ audits. At the same time, UTZ has always strived to offer all CBs sufficient support to guarantee high quality audits according to our UTZ Certification Protocol.
For the mainstream UTZ programs (coffee, cocoa, and tea) audits are offered by nearly 60 CBs, providing for global coverage. A higher number would strain UTZ services to the extent that we feel we could no longer deliver the quality needed to adequately support CBs. As such, since the 1st of March 2016, UTZ closed its application process for new CBs wishing to seek approval for conducting Code of Conduct audits.
In 2016, UTZ also decided to discontinue accepting new CB applications for the Chain of Custody scope. Already approved CBs can still request for extensions of their current geographical scopes or product scopes.
By closing the application process for new CBs, already-approved CBs can expand their accounts while also ensuring that UTZ can offer the same high level of support to approved CBs.
If UTZ assesses that a specific country or region lacks enough active CBs, we reserve the right to approve a new CB for that country or region.
If you are a certification body and interested in contacting UTZ, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org