Rainforest alliance, UTZ announce merger to create single sustainability standard and certification program

In a rare instance of a merger in the non-profit world, the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ, two influential agricultural sustainability certification bodies, have announced they will come together under the Rainforest Alliance name later this year. Together, the two NGOs certify some 182,000 cocoa, coffee, and tea farmers around the world. The merger will allow those farmers, and any new farmers who choose to work with the future Rainforest Alliance, to perform one audit of their operations rather than two and avoid the administrative workload of having to adhere to two sets of standards and certification systems. Han de Groot, currently the executive director of UTZ, will assume the role of CEO for the new organization. He told sustainable business news site edie.net that streamlining the certification process for farmers will allow them to better meet the growing global demand for sustainably sourced products and invest resources more efficiently in sustainability practices.

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