Rainforest Alliance & UTZ To Merge
A new organisation has been set up with the aim in mind of creating a single agriculture sustainability standard in order to improve the livelihoods of forest communities and farmers, and to simplify the certification process.
UTZ and the Rainforest Alliance will be merging later on in 2017 (with the new organisation to be called the Rainforest Alliance). It will take it upon itself to tackle social and environmental issues on a global scale, including unsustainable farming, deforestation, climate change and poverty. Its single worldwide certification standard will simplify everything for farmers and help companies build more responsible and more efficient supply chains.
A single auditing process will also be created for certificate holders, which should make it easier for brands to achieve sustainability certification and allow them to further innovative strategies across the entire supply chain. It’s thought that this will help the 182,000 coffee, cocoa and tea farmers that are already certified under both standards and newcomers alike to make more efficient investments in sustainability.
Earlier this month (July 11th), a new report commissioned by the ISEAL Alliance found that there are some very real benefits of certification for businesses, including greater profitability and productivity, and improved market access.
Operational benefits like reduced risk and improved efficiency were noted, while for procurement the benefits included improved transparency and traceability, as well as better supply chain risk management. Relationships and reputations were also shown to benefit as well.
It was concluded that “standards offer a wide range of early benefits to businesses along the supply chain which can materialise at business, supply chain and sector level… The early benefits of using standards can significantly strengthen business value and sustainability impacts. Sustainability impact can also support the business value of companies along the supply chain”.
By adopting the name Rainforest Alliance for the new venture, it’s hoped that the engagement that has already been established with consumers will be retained – and that by joining forces, the two organisations will provide a platform to help drive demand for more responsibly sourced products.
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