Markets working to support sustainable development

UTZ Certified Good Inside

UTZ Certified support sustainable agricultural supply chains through their code of conduct and certification.Primarily for coffee, however UTZ certification can also be found for cocoa and tea, and UTZ Certified is responsible for managing traceability of RSPO certified palm oil.

Producers of UTZ Certified coffee are rewarded with a 'premium' that is negotiated between buyer and seller. UTZ does not set the premium, nor involve itself in this negotiation, however it does provide producers with aggregated market information on the average premiums paid and volumes sold in country.

Audits are performed annually by an independet third party to a set of standards on production and trade.


Good Agricultural and business practices 

  • Monitoring business process
  • Record keeping of fertilizers and agrochemicals
  • 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 protected by national laws and ILO conventions on wages and working hours
  • Safe and healthy working conditions
  • No forced labour or child labour
  • Freedom of association and collective bargaining
  • Workers receive training in own language about safe handling of chemicals
  • Workers receive protective clothing for use of chemicals
  • Respectful treatment of workers
  • Access to health care for workers and families
  • Access to education for children
  • Access to decent housing, 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
  • Minimise water usage and environmental pollution
  • Minimise energy use
  • Optimise 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

Chain of Custody Certification

A unique UTZ Certified number is key to trading and tracing UTZ certified products. Chain of custody requirements are designed to ensure absolute traceability and their is a web-based traceability system to aid this.

Market coverage: 

UTZ certified coffee is grown in 23 countries and sold in 50. In 2012 sales of UTZ certified coffee rose by 50% to over 180,000 metric tonnes. As a result UTZ certified coffee is the largest certifier of coffee in the world.

For cocoa and tea, sales of UTZ certified product have been increasing. This has been helped by the backing of major multinationals such as Mars and Nestlé.

Background information: 

Founded in 1999 by Guatemalan coffee producers and Dutch roasters, originally under the name Utz Kapeh (‘good coffee’ Mayan language QuichÚ). Reorganized and renamed UTZ Certified Good Inside in 2007 with headquarters in Amsterdam, and regional offices in Guatemala, Switzerland and Japan.

UTZ Certified Cocoa programme launched in 2007. Founding members include Cargill, Ecom Agroindustrial, Heinz Benelux, Mars, Nestlé and Royal Ahold and the NGOs Solidaridad, Oxfam Novib and WWF.

UTZ Certified tea programme launched in 2007 with major partner Solidaridad.

Funding source: 

Donations from NGOs, the EU, and certification fees. Income in 2012 was 6.8 million euros. 

UTZ Certified invoices the first buyer of UTZ Certified coffee an administration fee off US$0.012/lb of green coffee.

Notable information: 

Plans to become 100% self sufficient on current programmes (coffee, cocoa, tea, palm oil) within the next 2-3 years.

UTZ certified cocoa will play a major part in Mars Inc's commitment to a 100% sustainable cocoa supply by 2020.