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Rainforest Alliance and UTZ merge
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The two sustainability seals Rainforest Alliance (RFA) and UTZ are joining forces. In the course of this year the two sustainability certification organisations intend to become one company that will continue operations under the name Rainforest Alliance.
The aim is to create a common global certification standard for environmental and social issues. The merger is intended to simplify certification for farmers. The new sustainability standard will bring together the strengths of the current Sustainable Agriculture Network SAN and UTZ standards and be known as the single Rainforest Alliance Standard. This means that the roughly 182,000 cocoa, coffee and tea farmers currently certified under two standards will be subject to a single auditing process.
Han de Groot, the Executive Director of UTZ, will be appointed CEO of Rainforest Alliance. Nigel Sizer, currently the president of the Rainforest Alliance, will take on the role of Chief Program Officer, Advocacy, Landscapes and Livelihoods.
The future Rainforest Alliance will remain a member of the Sustainable Agriculture Network SAN and, working in partnership with other NGOs, it has emphasised its mission to promote sustainable agriculture.