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.
To offer certificate holders a broad choice of CBs, UTZ had always welcomed new applications by 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 had already closed its application process for new CBs wishing to seek approval for conducting Code of Conduct audits.
Now, as of the 1st of December, 2016, UTZ has in addition also decided to discontinue accepting new CB applications for the Chain of Custody scope. Already approved CBs can however still request for extensions of their current geographical scopes or product scopes.
By closing the application process for new CBs, this way, CBs already approved by UTZ can expand their accounts of certificate holders and at the same time ensure that UTZ can offer the same high level of support to existing approved CBs.
Pending applications for the Chain of Custody scope submitted before the 1st of December, 2016, will be accepted and processed. If UTZ assesses that a specific country or region lacks enough active CBs granting services to certificate holders, UTZ reserves the right to approve a new CB for such country or region.
If you are a certification body and interested in contacting UTZ, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org