AMSTERDAM, April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In the first quarter of 2011 almost 40,000 metric tons of UTZ CERTIFIED Good Inside coffee was sold, an increase of 25% compared to the same period last year. The high volume of the first quarter is a continuation of the growth path in 2010 when in total 121,000 metric tons of UTZ CERTIFIED coffee was sold and 304,000 metric tons certified, a growth of almost 50% compared to the year before. This makes UTZ CERTIFIED the largest sustainability program for coffee in the world.
According to UTZ CERTIFIED, one of the main reasons for the growth in certified demand is the approach of the program. The Codes for coffee, cocoa and tea meet the requirements set by the market and at the same time UTZ CERTIFIED analyzes the major problem areas for farmers on issues that have the most impact on productivity and sustainability. This set-up demonstrates that corporate social responsibility does in fact have an (economical) value for both environment and farmers in origin as well as companies in buying countries.
Supply certified cocoa growing strong
Besides coffee farmers, UTZ CERTIFIED also trains cocoa farmers to become professional and responsible entrepreneurs. The supply of sustainably produced cocoa will grow strongly in the coming period because of the growing number of UTZ CERTIFIED cocoa farmers worldwide. Now, cocoa producers have already been certified in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Papua New Guinea, Ecuador, Vietnam, Nigeria, Uganda, Congo, Peru, Dominican Republic and Tanzania.
UTZ CERTIFIED launches Code of Conduct for Rooibos
An important step was taken in making the tea sector more sustainable; UTZ CERTIFIED launched the Code of Conduct for Rooibos. This is the first internationally accepted standard that is specifically developed for mainstream sustainable Rooibos. All four producers and two processors that were included in the pilot projects have been certified.
Independence of farmers strengthened
At this moment, over 160,000 smallholders and estates in coffee, tea and cocoa have been UTZ CERTIFIED. This means the independent position of many farmers has been strengthened. Farmers are trained in the professionalization of their agricultural practices and operational management. This improves the quality of the product and allows them to produce higher volumes at lower costs. This in turn enables farmers to negotiate a better price for a better product and with this improve their standard of living. Moreover, farmers who work with UTZ CERTIFIED in the global marketplace receive a premium for their crop and they don't have to pay for taking part in the program.
More information about UTZ CERTIFIED: http://www.utzcertified.org.
SOURCE UTZ CERTIFIED Foundation