Celebrate with us the five year anniversary of UTZ certified cocoa! It’s been an amazing journey and we are proud and happy to be working with you and many other partners towards a world where sustainable cocoa is the norm. Several impact studies show that we help create a more positive outcome for farmers, their communities and our planet. Consumers are increasingly aware of the challenges in the cocoa sector and demand products that are grown in a responsible way. Between today and 5 December we’ll talk about our joint successes in UTZ cocoa over the past five years. Join us and share your story online with your consumers. A digital toolkit is available for you to use in your communication.
Thanks to you we have reached over 336,000 farmers in 16 countries, supporting them to improve productivity and livelihoods and to tackle the many social and environmental challenges facing the cocoa industry from child labor to poor soil quality.
The toolkit brings this story to life and is designed to help you engage customers on the difference that they make by simply enjoying your products. It includes pictures, videos, farmer quotes, a social media visual in several languages and more. Download the toolkit here.
We think so! This was one of the conclusions from the interactive workshops we hosted at our partner events in Germany and Switzerland this autumn, with almost 100 participants providing input and ideas on how to bridge the gap between marketing and sustainability.
Participants discussed the need to generate a better understanding of sustainable sourcing, both internally and among customers and consumers. If that challenge sounds familiar to you, do get in touch to join the discussion and find out how we can support you in strengthening your sustainability communications.
A number of next steps and focus areas were identified at the sessions.
- Add value to your brand – Find the connection between your brand values and the benefits of UTZ;
- Increase employee engagement – Improve understanding within your company about why you choose sustainable sourcing;
- Help consumers get involved – Strengthen your sustainability communications for consumers.
Contact us to find out more!
“It takes people, organization and real efforts to make changes meaningful and I am glad to see Mars and UTZ Certified working together towards this important goal.” These are the reflections of Jeannette Ho, the latest Mars Ambassador to experience first-hand how sustainable cocoa farming is changing lives in Africa. Do you also want to engage your employees with your choice for sustainable sourcing? We’re more than happy to think along.
Mars, one of the world’s leading chocolate manufacturers, has pledged to achieve 100% certified cocoa by 2020. The Mars Ambassador Program connects associates directly with relevant organizations that support Mars’ business objectives. The program also brings its sustainable sourcing to life for employees around its business. Through visits to countries of origin, Ambassadors connect with communities in the company’s supply chain and share their experiences and insights with their colleagues to spread the sustainable sourcing message.
This year, it was the turn of Jeannette Ho, a Mars product development scientist, to take on an ambassador assignment and experience what sustainable sourcing is all about. “The first week I spent meeting with people at UTZ,” said Jeannette. “I soon realized that running a global certification program was more complex than I would have thought.”
In her second week, Jeannette flew to Ghana, where she visited UTZ certified co-ops and farmers, partner organizations, auditors and schools. Her overwhelming impression was one of the sheer friendliness of the people and a pioneering spirit among some of the groups she met.
“I met some inspiring people along the way, and it reinforced the idea that the world is becoming smaller and that the opportunity to improve is very real if we make the efforts,” she said.
Read more about Jeannette’s experience and those of previous Mars Ambassadors. If you’d like support in developing an employee or media engagement program for your organization we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Douwe Egberts Netherlands joined forces with UTZ in a series of interactive workshops that got its people having fun and talking about sustainable sourcing. An inspiring example of how you and your colleagues can experience sustainable products first-hand.
The workshops, run during the company’s Inspiration Week, gave employees the chance to taste, smell, feel and experience sustainable coffee themselves. They learned about where Douwe Egberts sources its sustainable coffee from and the benefits for farmers and the company.
Through the tasting sessions, the participants got to find out for themselves that UTZ coffee tastes just as good as non-certified products. To help them spread the message, they practiced their own one-minute ‘elevator pitch’, which they can use to easily explain to colleagues, friends and family why Douwe Egberts sources sustainable coffee.
After the workshops, participants were encouraged to share their experiences on the UTZ Facebook page and challenged to see who could get the most comments and likes in 24 hours. The winner, employee Mike Keijer, a senior business process information analyst, won a dinner cooked for him and his family at home using UTZ coffee, cocoa and tea.
“The workshop was very interactive and I learned a lot about the products that are UTZ certified,” said Mike. “I was also interested to learn that UTZ means good in a language from Guatemala! The dinner was organized really well and our family had a great time. My wife and I enjoyed the surprising combinations of ingredients like salmon with UTZ chocolate and our kids loved helping to prepare the dishes!”
Looking for ideas on how to inspire your employees on sustainable sourcing? We’re happy to help!
Our partners have launched some exciting new products this month, including a great new coffee range from MingS enabling consumers in China to enjoy UTZ coffee for the first time. Other launches include new single origin coffees at LIDL stores in many countries and a tasty iced tea range from Dutch retailer Albert Heijn. And look out for Christmas products carrying the UTZ label – from chocolate Santas and Christmas trees to a Christmas coffee we’re sure that more and more people will be enjoying UTZ at Christmas this year.
MingS Espresso – China
Chinese consumers can now enjoy UTZ coffee! The MingS brand, produced by roaster Weiming launched one of the first UTZ certified coffee in China this quarter, with products such as MingS Espresso now on sale in retailers like IKEA China stores. Enjoy!
Albert Heijn ice tea – The Netherlands
Consumers in the Netherlands who aren’t yet ready to say goodbye to summer can choose a refreshing ice tea from Dutch retailer Albert Heijn. The new UTZ labeled products are available in a range of flavors and sizes, including light versions. All Albert Heijn private label teas are also UTZ certified.
Sperlari chocolate products – Italy
Italian chocolate company Sperlari, founded in 1836, is known for the quality of its confectionery. Now it has joined UTZ to make sure its products don’t just taste great, they are better for farmers and the environment too.
By the end of 2014 Spelari, which is part of the Cloetta group, will source all its cocoa from UTZ Certified sources and its seasonal products will carry the UTZ logo, taking the sustainable farming message to consumers. It joins other Cloetta companies who have already made the change in Denmark, Finland and Sweden.
“Joining UTZ will benefit Sperlari through better quality cocoa and it will enable consumers and retailers to know that by choosing Sperlari they are supporting a better life for African cocoa farmers, says Giorgio Boggero, CEO of Cloetta Italy. “Thanks to the UTZ Certified program, farmers will be given the opportunity to develop their business, to improve productivity and working conditions and to take better care of the environment and their families.”
LIDL single origin coffee – Various countries
Three new single origin coffees are available at LIDL stores in Poland, Italy, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Romania. They are sourced from UTZ farms in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya. The launch was accompanied by great in-store communications.
LIDL chocolate products – Spain
More news about LIDL! The stores in Spain launched their first UTZ labeled products. Consumers can now enjoy a new range of chocolate products when they shop at LIDL including some launched just in time for Christmas. Have your pick!
Peterbrooke chocolate products – United States
Specialty chocolate company Peterbrooke is one of the latest companies to join UTZ. With stores throughout the Southeast United States and a range of delicious chocolate products, Peterbrooke is known as the ‘Neighborhood Chocolatier’. By joining UTZ it wants to play its part in making the production of cocoa truly sustainable. One of the first products to source UTZ cocoa for will be Peterbrooke’s famous chocolate-coated popcorn.
Peterbrooke announced its new partnership with UTZ to its customers and via its Facebook page. Billy Morris, CEO of Peterbrooke, said “As part of our Peterbrooke Promise, we are committed to sustainable sourcing and proud to be UTZ certified. After evaluating the significant impact that the UTZ Certified program has to offer, it was an easy decision to move forward with the program. Together with UTZ we support good, viable agricultural practices that enable farmers, their families, and their environment to thrive.”
Sainsbury’s chocolate bar – UK
UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has extended its range of UTZ labeled products with the launch of its new 100g Belgian milk chocolate bar. Customers can feel even better when the buy the product as all profits are going to verterans charity, the Royal British Legion. Also watch the advert everyone’s talking about in the UK, showing the famous Christmas truce between British and German soldiers during WWI.
Enjoy an UTZ Christmas
A range of fantastic UTZ labeled Christmas products will be enjoyed around the world this festive season. From chocolate snowballs, Santas and Christmas trees to specialty Christmas coffees consumers in countries such as the Netherlands, UK, Poland, Germany, Spain, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Australia will be making UTZ part of their holiday celebrations.
An innovative UTZ project in Central America is turning wastewater from coffee production into safe, renewable energy, reducing emissions and water use and benefiting the health of farmers, their families and the local environment. With great results!
The project, which began in 2010, uses new technology to treat wastewater from the coffee production process. It extracts the waste organic matter and turns this into a biogas that can be used to power cooking stoves and farm machinery or for drying coffee beans.
The pilot has achieved some impressive results across 19 sites in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. Water consumption on the farms has been cut from 24 liters/kg of green coffee to just 10 liters/kg. Farmers and their families are saving time they would have spent gathering firewood, and because the biogas burns more cleanly with less smoke, it is better for their health too.
“Good water management is a prerequisite for sustainable coffee production,” said Han de Groot, Director of UTZ Certified. “This project prevents polluted water ending up in the ground or local water supplies and provides renewable energy for coffee farming households. It is good for people and the environment”.
The Energy from Coffee Wastewater project is now being rolled out to coffee farms in Peru and Brazil, and, if new funding can be obtained from interested industry partners, to farmers in Africa and Asia too.
If you are interested in getting involved or want to know more please contact Henk van Rikxoort.
You can read more about the project in our recent blog and in the UK’s Guardian newspaper.