UTZ Certified today released its Impact Report, combining results from 24 external studies with UTZ data to measure the impact the organization was having on farmers’ livelihoods and crop yields. It found that certification tripled cocoa yields and improved farmer livelihoods in developing countries*.
UTZ volumes grow
Han de Groot, executive director of UTZ Certified told ConfectioneryNews: “For cocoa, we believe that certification is the most important contribution we can make. We can’t afford to dedicate more land to agriculture. We have to do more with less.”
Only a year ago, UTZ Certified cocoa represented 5% of global production, according to International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) data. In the 2012/13 crop year that figure rose to 14% as 534,614 metric tons (MT) of cocoa were produced according to UTZ requirements.
UTZ Certified hopes that half of the world’s cocoa volumes will be farmed sustainably within the next decade – the figure currently stands at around 20%.
The aim comes amid foreboding forecasts of a one million MT cocoa shortage by 2020 that is likely to send cocoa prices skyrocketing.
UTZ believes that certified cocoa can plug the gap. Its impact report referred to a study in Ghana, which showed that 95% of cocoa farmers had doubled or tripled their yield and improved their income due to implementation of UTZ farming practices. Productivity grew from 200 kg per hectare in 2008 to 512 kg per hectare in 2012.
A separate 2012 report from KMPG, commissioned by the International Cocoa Organization and the Association of the German Confectionery Industry, BDSI, said that cocoa certification brought more advantages than disadvantages for farmers and communities as improved yields and pay outweighed rule differences among certifiers and potentially unequal payments.
Chocolate industry & UTZ