UTZ Certified will be working more closely with the Conseil du Café-Cacao, the governmental Coffee and Cocoa board in Côte D’Ivoire, to increase the impact of certification for the country’s hundreds of thousands of cocoa farmers.
On April 1, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between UTZ Certified and the Conseil, in which the two organizations agree to work together on:
- Improving the quality of training for UTZ farmer groups
- The development of an Implementation Guide for UTZ certification, specifically tailored to the needs of farmers in Côte d’Ivoire
- The training of Conseil staff on certification and traceability
- Improving monitoring and evaluation procedures for certification
- The prevention and resolution of complaints brought to the Conseil or UTZ
Siriki Diakite, UTZ Certified’s representative in Côte D’Ivoire, commented: “This agreement is a great step in our collaboration with Conseil du Café-Cacao, and great news for the cocoa farmers of Côte D’Ivoire We look forward to working with the Conseil to reach more cocoa farmers, and to ensure they can get the benefits of certification.”
The cocoa sector is a vital part of the economy of Côte D’Ivoire, which produces more than a third of the world’s supply of the crop, and we already work with more than 170,000 cocoa farmers in the country. A recent study of farmers in Côte D’Ivoire showed that being part of the UTZ program leads to higher yields, bigger incomes and better living conditions.