UTZ Certified

UTZ Certified

Infobox Company
company_name = UTZ CERTIFIED "Good Inside"
company_type = Non-profit organization
foundation = Amsterdam, Netherlands (2002)
location = Amsterdam, Netherlands
key_people = Frank Pronk, Executive Director
industry = Product certification, Sustainability
num_employees = 24 on the Buyer side and 12 on the Producer side of the market(2008)

UTZ CERTIFIED is an industry-led coffee certification program launched in 2002 with the financial support of Ahold, a Dutch food retailer. The program claims to be the largest coffee certifier in the world. [ [http://www.coffeenetwork.com/Portal/Entities/ShowContent.aspx?Eid=248&Path=Documents/News/2006-08/248/072206UtzKapehProfile2.doc&ContentType=application/msword&Iid=13720Coffee Coffee Network Organisational Profile] ] [ [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=145&showItem=144&filterCat=A,B,C,D UTZ CERTIFIED Website] ]

Formerly is was known as Utz Kapeh. On the 7th of March, 2007, the Utz Kapeh Foundation officially changed its name and logo to UTZ CERTIFIED 'Good Inside'. [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=145&showItem=185 UTZ CERTIFIED Name & Logo update] UTZ CERTIFIED is a foundation for the world-wide implementation of a baseline standard for responsible coffee growing and sourcing. UTZ-certified cooperatives, estate farms and producer groups comply with the [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=111&showdoc=111_0_9 UTZ CERTIFIED Code of Conduct] . This Code is an internationally recognized set of criteria for professional coffee growing, which includes socially and environmentally appropriate coffee growing practices, and efficient farm management.

[UTZ CERTIFIED Good Inside coffee is promoted as traceable from grower to roaster; they operate a track-and-trace system, showing the buyers of UTZ-certified coffee exactly where their coffee comes from. Some coffee brands and retailers also provide their customers with this transparency through on-line coffee tracers. UTZ-certified coffee is sold in more than 20 consuming countries like Netherlands, Belgium, France, UK, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Japan, US and Canada. UTZ CERTIFIED coffee producers are located in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

The UTZ CERTIFIED "Good Inside" program has been dubbed Fairtrade lite" by several academics and news articles [Conroy, Michael (2007). Branded! p252] . It has most notably been criticized by Oxford University professor Alex Nicholls for providing "greenwashing" cover for transnational corporations, therefore offering companies such as Sara Lee and Douwe Egberts a cheap way to tap in the ethical consumer market. [The Observer (29 January 2006). [http://observer.guardian.co.uk/foodmonthly/story/0,,1694445,00.html Is Global Business Hijacking the Fairtrade bandwagon?] . URL accessed on October 27, 2006.] . Some contentious issues include the certification system's weak environmental and social standards, lack of prefinancing standards, of minimum guaranteed prices. [Thomas, Whitni (2005). Financing Fair Trade. London: Sage Publications.] [The Guardian (2004, November 24). [http://www.guardian.co.uk/ethicalbusiness/story/0,,1358196,00.html Who Is the Fairest of them All?] . URL accessed on August 30, 2006.]

However, the UTZ CERTIFIED "Good Inside" Program has proven to improve the producers' practices and quality of life. An example showing the impact of the program on people's living is the recent study conducted by Marc Pfitzer and Ramya Krishnaswamy from the [http://www.hks.harvard.edu/m-rcbg/CSRI/index.html John F. Kennedy School of Government] at the Harvard University. It is about creating economic opportunities in the (food and) beverage sector. Marc Pfitzer and Ramya Krishnaswamy examine the impact of different projects of big companies in different countries, e.g. Danone, Coca-Cola etc. The project of ECOM in Honduras in cooperation with UTZ CERTIFIED addresses the high unemployment rates in the country combined with poor agricultural techniques. The results of the project are summarized as follows: "The partnership has brought three main benefits to coffee communities: it has improved skill levels, raised income levels, and reduced the harmful effects of coffee farming on the environment" (Pfitzer, Krishnaswamy 2007: The role of the Food and Beverage Sector in Creating Economic Opportunities, p. 34). With the permission of the authors the report was put online before the official publication. You can find it [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=145&showItem=242&filterCat=A,B,C,D&offset=12 here]

Code of Conduct

The UTZ certification program is based on the [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=111&showdoc=111_0_9 UTZ CERTIFIED Code of Conduct] : a set of social and environmental criteria for responsible coffee growing practices and efficient farm management. Coffee producers who are UTZ-certified comply with this code.

;Origins of the CodeThe [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=111&showdoc=111_0_9 UTZ CERTIFIED Code of Conduct] was originally based on the [http://www.agribusinessonline.com/regulations/eurepprotocol.pdf EUREPGAP Protocol for Fruits and Vegetables] . That Protocol was developed by leading European retailers and provides assurance of food safety and appropriate growing practices in fruits and vegetables.UTZ CERTIFIED translated the EUREPGAP Protocol to the specific conditions of coffee production in 1997. Criteria from [http://www.ilo.org ILO] (International Labor Organization) Conventions have also been added. The result is the [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=111&showdoc=111_0_9 UTZ CERTIFIED Code of Conduct] : an internationally accepted code for responsible coffee production.

;BenchmarkingThe UTZ CERTIFIED Code of Conduct includes elements such as standards for record-keeping, minimized and documented use of agrochemicals for crop protection, protection of labor rights and access to health care and education for employees and their families. It is officially benchmarked against [http://www.eurepgap.org/Languages/English/index_html EurepGAP] 's coffee code, and contains 100% of the [http://www.eurepgap.org/coffee/Languages/English/index_html EurepGAP coffee reference code] , as well as additional social criteria.

;EvaluationThe Code of Conduct is evaluated and revised every year through an internal and external revision procedure, using as input the experiences of producers, agronomists and certifiers working with the code. Technological, economic and social developments in the coffee industry are also included. UTZ CERTIFIED consults with stakeholders throughout the coffee industry and with the [http://www.eurepgap.org/Languages/English/index_html EurepGAP] technical standards committee.

ummary of the Code of Conduct

The criteria of the [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=111&showdoc=111_0_9 UTZ CERTIFIED Code of Conduct] fall into three categories:

;Good Agricultural & Business practices
* monitoring business processes
* record keeping of fertilizers & agro chemicals
* good housekeeping practices
* workers trained properly
* implementation of accident and emergency procedures
* implementation of hygiene rules and practices
* traceability of coffee
* annual internal inspections

;Social Criteria
* workers are protected by national laws and ILO conventions regarding age, working hours, pensions, working conditions, collective bargaining and safety
* workers receive training in their own language about safe handling of chemicals
* workers receive protective clothing for the use of chemicals
* access to health care for the workers and their families
* access to education for children
* access to decent housing
* access to clean drinking water
* freedom of cultural expression

;Environmental Criteria
* reduce and prevent soil erosion
* responsible and minimal use of agrochemicals
* implementation of Integrated Pest Management
* minimize water usage and environmental pollution
* minimize energy use
* optimize use of sustainable energy sources
* treatment of contaminated water
* protecting water sources
* no deforestation of primary forests
* use of native tree species as coffee shade trees
* protecting endangered species


Independent auditors make annual inspections to ensure coffee producers comply with the [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=111&showdoc=111_0_9 UTZ CERTIFIED Code of Conduct] .

;Certification BodyA Certification Body (CB) is an independent, third-party certifier with [http://www.ams.usda.gov/Lsg/arc/iso65.htm ISO 65] accreditation. When approved by UTZ CERTIFIED, the CBs conduct annual certification inspections of coffee producers to determine whether they comply with the [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=111&showdoc=111_0_9 UTZ CERTIFIED Code of Conduct] and [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=159 Chain of Custody requirements] .

;Trained AgronomistsAn UTZ CERTIFIED trained agronomist is a technical consultant specifically trained in assisting producers to comply with the [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=111&showdoc=111_0_9 UTZ CERTIFIED Code of Conduct] . Trained agronomists can advise on practical implementation of elements of the Code and give directions on improvement of efficiency in farm management.


Coffee with an UTZ CERTIFIED certification has added value in the sense that it assures buyers that their coffee has been produced according to a baseline standard for responsible production, i.e. according to the UTZ CERTIFIED Code of Conduct. Buyers recognize this extra value by paying coffee growers a price premium for UTZ-certified coffee. An UTZ certification empowers coffee growers to negotiate a better price for their product. They have access to information about average prices and premiums for the all the coffees sold as UTZ CERTIFIED. Furthermore, twice a year a a Supply & Demand Analysis is published, where the major trends from the past and the expectations for the future are presented. This publication is an important source of information both for producers and buyers.

The price for UTZ-certified coffee is determined in the negotiation process between buyer and seller. UTZ CERTIFIED does not interfere in price-negotiations.


UTZ-certified coffee is traceable from producer to roaster. UTZ CERTIFIED uses two elements to create traceability:
* The UTZ CERTIFIED web-based traceability system
* Chain of Custody requirements

;Web-based traceability systemWhen an UTZ-certified coffee producer sells his coffee to a registered UTZ CERTIFIED buyer, the coffee is announced in the UTZ CERTIFIED web-based system. UTZ CERTIFIED assigns a unique tracking number to this lot of coffee. This unique UTZ number travels with the coffee through the whole coffee chain. At the end of the coffee chain, the roaster uses the unique tracking number to know where his coffee was grown. Some brands use this unique tracking system to make the coffee traceable for their consumers.

;Chain of CustodyTo enhance the guarantee that coffee with an UTZ CERTIFIED logo does indeed come from an UTZ-certified producer, the UTZ CERTIFIED program contains Chain of Custody requirements. This is a set of chain-wide administrative and technical requirements for traceability. These requirements include criteria for separation of UTZ CERTIFIED coffee and non-UTZ CERTIFIED coffee, and keeping records of direct suppliers and buyers.


UTZ NEXT means the expansion of UTZ CERTIFIED into other agricultural commodities. Based on the experience of the last 5 years and encouraged by the successes, UTZ CERTIFIED uses its expertise for both code development and traceability to contribute to the sustainability of the mainstream production and market.

"Good Inside" Cocoa Program

On 10 October 2007 during the celebration of the fifth anniversary of UTZ CERTIFIED, the "Good Inside" Cocoa Program was launched. UTZ CERTIFIED is working together with major stakeholders from industry, government and civil society to help achieve a more sustainable cocoa sector. UTZ CERTIFIED is cooperating with Ahold, Cargill, Heinz Benelux, Mars, Nestlé and ECOM to develop and implement a mainstream certification and traceability system for sustainable cocoa. Solidaridad and Oxfam Novib are supporting the initiative. Other companies and NGOs are invited to join and support the program. For more information visit [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=224 the cocoa page] .

Palm Oil

UTZ CERTIFIED is working on the traceability system for the [http://www.rspo.org/ RSPO] (Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil). They system will be launched in 2008. To learn more about this program, please visit [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=225 our website] . How will the traceability along the sustainable palm oil supply chain look like? Check out [http://www.utzcertified.org/rspo/ the animation] !


UTZ Certified certification, similarly to rival Rainforest Alliance coffee certification program, has been called "Fairtrade light" by critics, as it offers producers no minimum or guaranteed price for their crop. UTZ-certified producer organizations are therefore highly vulnerable to the volatility of the coffee market. [The Observer (29 January 2006). [http://observer.guardian.co.uk/foodmonthly/story/0,,1694445,00.html Is Global Business Hijacking the Fairtrade bandwagon?] . URL accessed on October 27, 2006.] This major price difference makes the UTZ CERTIFIED label considerably cheaper than Fairtrade for companies such as Sara Lee interested in tapping the ethical market.

Michael Conroy, an independent consultant on certification for sustainable development, criticized UTZ CERTIFIED in his 2007 book Branded!: "the environmental standards of UTZ CERTIFIED are far weaker than those of either Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance". UTZ CERTIFIED's standards for example, explicitly announces that genetically modified coffee plants, though not presently available, would be allowable so long as farmers obey local regulations on their use. Any kind of chemical fertilizer may be used as long as an external, technically qualified advisor has determined the quantity of fertilizer to be use. No chemical pesticides or fungicides banned in the European Union, the U.S. or Japan may be used, but any that are acceptable in those three markets are acceptable on coffee farms if they are applied "according to the label". [Conroy, Michael (2007). Branded! p252]

Many have also criticized UTZ CERTIFIED for not having clear requirements as regards to the remuneration of hired labor - in this respect, only national laws must be followed. In addition, several observers have criticized the program for its lack of crop pre-financing and producer support.

External links

* [http://www.utzcertified.org/ UTZ CERTIFIED Homepage]

;Code of ConductThe 2006 UTZ CERTIFIED Code of Conduct refers to the following external documents and organizations:
* [http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/wastewater/gsuww/en/index.html WHO Guidelines]
* [http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexdoc!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=31979L0117&model=lex EC Regulations]
* [http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPP/Pesticid/code/PM_Code.htm International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides]
* [http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPP/Pesticid/code/PM_Code.htm Mould Restrictions]
* [http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/convdisp1.htm ILO Conventions]
* [http://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/topics/foodsafety/positivelist060228/ Positive List System for Agricultural Chemical Residues in Foods]

* [http://www.utzcertified.org/serve_attachment.php?file=archive/downloads/cblist_for_website.pdf List of UTZ CERTIFIED Independent Certifiers]
* [http://www.utzcertified.org/serve_attachment.php?file=archive/downloads/20061910_ta_web.pdf List of UTZ CERTIFIED Trained Agronomists]

* [http://consumer.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=204 World of UTZ]

;UTZ CERTIFIED & Fairtrade
* [http://www.utzcertified.org/index.php?pageID=111&showdoc=111_0_5 UTZ CERTIFIED & Fairtrade Comparison]


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