Topic outline

  • Introduction

    Thank you for visiting the UTZ Academy Online and welcome to this course. We are proud of the people we work with around the globe, who help us create a better world through sustainable agriculture. We are proud of our history and optimist about the plans for the future. Curious about how it all began and wonder how the program works? Find out more in this course.
    • What is UTZ?

      UTZ is a program and label for sustainable farming. Sustainable farming helps farmers, workers and their families to fulfill their ambitions and contributes to safeguarding the earth's natural resources, now and in the future. Find out more in the 2 video's below.

      • How UTZ works

        Coffee, cocoa and tea products do not get the UTZ label easily. The compliance with our strict requirements by UTZ certified farms and businesses, is closely monitored by independent third parties. These requirements include Good Agricultural Practices and farmingmanagement, safe and healthy working conditions, abolition of child labor and protection of the environment.

        UTZ offers brands the possibility to track and trace the coffee, cocoa and tea, from the shelf in the store to the farmer. The UTZ logo on your product ensures that your favorite brand supports sustainable farming.

        This is how it works

        At UTZ, we take the "big picture” approach. This is what we believe is the only way to make the production of coffee, cocoa and tea truly sustainable. Our Codes of Conduct cover a broad range of requirements contributing to better production, a better environment and a better life for everyone.

        • Certification

          UTZ certification shows consumers that products have been sourced, from farm to shop shelf, in a sustainable manner. To become certified, all UTZ suppliers have to follow our Code of Conduct, which offers expert guidance on better farming methods, working conditions and care for nature. This in turn leads to better production, a better environment and a better life for everyone.

          The UTZ Standard

          All UTZ certified coffee, tea, cocoa and hazelnuts are produced to the UTZ standard, which is guided by the principles of fairness and transparency. This helps us make the biggest difference possible in support of people, planet and profit. The standard operates through two sets of guidelines.


          Certification for farmers

          Becoming an UTZ certified farmer brings big benefits. We are an internationally renowned label, highly regarded by consumers and suppliers alike. We can help you improve the sustainability and future prospects of your business, and open up new, long-term relationships with suppliers.


          Certification for companies

          Consumers are increasingly demanding to know where their products come from, and that they have been sourced in a responsible manner. Joining an internationally renowned certification scheme shows your customers your commitment to both people and the environment, and helps create ...


          Certification documents

          In this section you will find documents related to the UTZ Standard.

          • Products

            UTZ is the benchmark for the sustainable production of coffee, tea (including rooibos and herbal teas) and cocoa. Our years of experience in these sectors means consumers can be sure that UTZ certified products have been sourced in a way that is fair to producers, suppliers and the environment.


            Coffee, one of the most popular drinks in the world, is brewed from the dried, roasted seeds of the coffee cherry. Coffee is produced in more than 50 countries and over 25 million people depend on the coffee industry worldwide.



            The cocoa tree originates from Central America, where its fruit has been used since 1500 BC. In the wild, a cocoa tree can reach from five to 15 meters, but in plantations it is usually pruned to four meters high. One tree has 20 to 30 pods and each contains 25 to 50 cocoa beans.


            Tea and Rooibos

            Tea, the most popular drink in the world after water, is grown in over 50 countries worldwide. Together, China, India, Kenya and Sri Lanka account for almost three quarters of worldwide tea production. The many ingredients for herbal teas are grown all over the world.



            Three quarters of the world's hazelnuts come from Turkey, where they are mainly grown in the Black Sea region. Low productivity is a problem for many hazelnut farmers, and this is a sector that has been associated with child labor and poor conditions for migrant workers.


            • Sector change

              UTZ certification plays a vital role in creating a future where sustainable farming is the norm. But certification alone cannot solve all the issues that producers and suppliers face. We must also help create change around underlying issues such as climate change and gender equality, which have a big impact on farmers' lives.

              Which is why UTZ works in partnership with civil society, partners and governments to strengthen the voices of farmers in decision making forums, while also piloting new solutions and using our collective influence to create lasting change throughout the supply chain.

              Climate change

              It is increasingly clear that droughts, floods and storms caused by climate change are threatening the lives and livelihoods of people who depend on the land to survive. And while climate change affects agriculture, agriculture also affects climate change. By setting standards for sustainable production...



              In many countries women still have to fight for their basic rights, especially when it comes to their role within agriculture. UTZ is committed to improving gender equality on all our farms. In order to do so, we must take into account underlying social structures and gender roles. 


              Child labor

              The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that 168 million children worldwide are engaged in child labor, more than half of them in hazardous work. The majority work in the agricultural sector. Child labor leaves children vulnerable to hazards including smoke inhalation, machinery, chemicals and dangerous tools.


              Living wage

              Unfortunately, millions of workers across the world still do not receive an income that allows them to meet their basic needs. At UTZ we believe that better farming leads to better productivity, meaning farmers can increase both their income and the entrepreneurial skills to help them access new markets.



              When farmers grow better crops, they generate more income and create better opportunities for themselves and others, while safeguarding the environment and securing the earth's natural resources. This creates a virtuous circle that nurtures lives, livelihoods and the planet...


              • Documents on specific topics

                UTZ created a set of documents designed to assist with implementation of specific topics within the UTZ Core Code of Conduct. These documents are intended for use by farmer groups and the technical assistants supporting them in the certification process.

                Risk assessment

                Risk assessment is an important part of the UTZ Code of Conduct as it provides a practical way for groups to focus on the issues that could prevent them from reaching the goals of UTZ certification: better crop (quantity, quality), better income, better environment, better life. It enables groups to achieve sustainable farming worldwide in the most efficient way. 

                Read more >> 

                Internal Management

                Establishing an IMS is a mandatory requirement for producer groups seeking group certification. A well-run IMS enables the group to organize itself, measure results, manage processes and achieve improvements for farmers, such as higher productivity, sustainable farming and fewer health problems. It also enables the group to communicate and negotiate with buyers effectively and to provide buyers with the information they need.

                Read more >> 

                Integrated pestmanagement

                Dependence on pesticides has caused a number of significant problems including: insecticide resistance; health problems among farmers, workers and their families; pollution of soil and water courses; a decline in beneficial soil microorganisms and a decline in beneficial insects such as bees and other pollinators. Amongst others, this creates insect resistance and overuse of pesticides which increases production costs and decreases farmer's productivity.

                Read more >> 

                Training of group members

                Training is at the core of the UTZ program. Farmer training leads to better farm and business management, safer working conditions and better protection of nature - making farming more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. The UTZ Code of Conduct requires groups to train their members on all relevant aspects of the UTZ Code of Conduct.

                Read more >> 

                Certified volume

                Good Agricultural Practices, professional farm management and transparent group management lead to a better crop and better income. Having accurate numbers on certified volumes are essential for managing a group and guiding its members towards professional farm management and increased production. Certified volume per farmer or group is determined on the basis of certified area and estimated production per ha1 

                Read more >> 

                Child Labour

                Child labor is work that is damaging to a child's body, mind or education, because it is performed at too early an age or under dangerous conditions or because it keeps a child out of school, harming their long-term prospects. The eradication of child labor in agriculture is an important step in UTZ's mission to achieve a world where sustainable farming is the norm.

                Read more >> 

                Climate Change

                In many tropical and subtropical regions climate change threatens to be an environmental disaster for farmers, with decreased water availability, new or different pests and diseases and more extreme events threatening the quality and quantity of crop yields, and farmer income. Challenges such as degraded soils or limited water resources are predicted to intensify with climate change, adding further stress to the agricultural sector. 

                Read more >> 

                Nature protection

                We all depend on nature and natural resources. We need healthy ecosystems that can provide the food, materials, clean air and water we need to live. That's why protection of nature is integrated into the UTZ Code of Conduct through sustainable farming practices as well as specific requirements such as prevention of deforestation and avoiding farming in areas of high ecological value. Sustainable farming practices help protect biodiversity and preserve the earth's natural resources.

                Read more >> 


                A better crop is a key driver for a better livelihood and the UTZ premium is an important incentive for producer groups and their members to implement sustainable farming practices. The UTZ premium is an additional pay to cover the investments for the implementation of certification, but also to reward group members for their efforts to produce sustainably. UTZ aims to create transparency on the amount and use of the UTZ premium to make sure farmers benefit.

                Read more >> 

                Living Wage

                A living wage is the remuneration received for a standard work week by a worker in a particular place sufficient to afford a decent Standard of living for the worker and her or his family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transport, clothing, and other essential needs including provision for unexpected events. 

                Read more >> 

                • Traceability system

                  In our globalizing world UTZ has played a leading role in creating an open and transparent marketplace for agricultural products since 2002. UTZ does this by providing online traceability for sustainably produced goods. This enables users to verify the sustainable origin of their products throughout the long and often complicated global supply chains. This assures companies and consumers their products really do relate to sustainable practices.

                  Why tracing products matters

                  Why do farmers, companies and consumers trust UTZ? For one because they know that when they see an UTZ label they can be sure the sustainable ingredients sourced for the product has been traced all the way from field to shop shelf, every stage of its journey documented. This gives assurance to consumers and does good for farmers and conscientious companies.


                  • Measuring impact

                    Gaining insight into the impact of the UTZ program is crucial for continuous improvement of our standards. That is why UTZ invests importantly in monitoring and evaluation. UTZ collects data directly from producers at the time of their registration, from auditors during the certification process and through its traceability system.

                    Monitoring & evaluation program

                    UTZ commissions impact evaluations that focus mainly on changes at farmer level, and are carried out by independent researchers whose work meets scientific standards, such as the international Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA) and the Dutch Agricultural University of Wageningen, LEI. Studies are regularly commissioned in partnership with...


                    • Training

                      UTZ stands for sustainable farming and better opportunities for farmers, their families and our planet. Our programs enable farmers to learn better farmer methods, improve working conditions and take better care of their children and the environment.

                      Training is key

                      Training is key to the success of the UTZ programs. Farmers engage in training courses on the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices.Certification bodies attend training courses on how to thoroughly audit to the UTZ standards and rules.


                      • What we have achieved

                        At UTZ, it all starts with better farming. After all, better farming makes a lot of other things better too: harvests increase, incomes go up, prospects improve and nature is safeguarded. When farmers apply new skills and techniques they are able to get more out of their business, their land and themselves.


                        • Closure

                          Congratulations, you have completed the course: Introduction to the UTZ program . If you would like to know more please contact us here