Cocoa beans at organic cocoa collecting station in Monte Forte, São Tomé. Cocoa farmers need a fair certification system to survive in the market. <br/> Photo: ©IFAD/Susan Beccio
Cocoa beans at organic cocoa collecting station in Monte Forte, São Tomé. Cocoa farmers need a fair certification system to survive in the market.
Photo: ©IFAD/Susan Beccio

22.06.2017

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The merger of Rainforest Alliance and UTZ is aimed to simplify the certification process for farmers. Currently, over 180,000 farmers are certified twice, once for each standard.

The two biggest certification organisations in the cocoa sector, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ, announced their intention in June 2017 to merge in the course of the year. By the start of 2019 the certifiers intend to publish a new, common standard, according to the INKOTA network.

The new organisation under the name Rainforest Alliance will create a joint global certification standard which will simplify certification for farmers. The new sustainability standard will combine the strengths of the current SAN and UTZ standards and be known as the stand-alone Rainforest Alliance Standard. The future Rainforest Alliance will continue to be a member of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN).

Certificate holders will then only have to go through a single audit process. As a result, it will be easier for farmers, producer cooperatives and companies to obtain meaningful sustainability certification, allowing them to push ahead with innovations in their delivery chains, the Rainforest Alliance announced.

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