UTZ Certified and Fair Trade USA will begin this month a joint effort to support sustainable livelihoods for more farmers and workers, beginning in cocoa.
The collaboration between the two programs aims to drive broader market access, increase social and economic benefits, and significantly reduce the cost of being certified against two programs.
“In essence, the collaboration is an expression of the mutual acknowledgement of the value both of our programs offer. At the same time, it is a concrete example of how to better enable farmers to implement sustainable practices, and directly address barriers to efficiency,” says Han de Groot, Executive Director of UTZ Certified.
The program will offer farmers the opportunity to gain access to both the UTZ Certified and the Fair Trade USA supply chains through a single audit.
Those who seek dual certification by both parties can obtain this by complying with the UTZ code combined with a module on Fair Trade standards, including areas like the Fair Trade minimum price and Community Development Premiums.
“Both UTZ and Fair Trade USA share a common goal of enabling sustainable production and livelihoods for farming communities across the globe, and together we can make an even bigger impact,” said Paul Rice, President & CEO of Fair Trade USA. “By working together, we will make certification even more efficient and beneficial for farmers and industry alike.”
The first pilot will focus on cocoa producer groups that have an interest in dual certification and who will benefit from the simplified compliance process against lower costs. In a next step, we may also include UTZ certified producer groups who wish to add Fair Trade USA to their certification portfolio.