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UTZ Certified Coffee
Individuals looking for organic coffee may run across the UTZ Certified label. This label says that the bag of coffee you are buying came from a coffee farm that employed sustainable agricultural practices, good environmental practices and efficient farm management. A key feature of the UTZ Certified label is that UTZ Certified coffee is traced from grower to roaster. UTZ certified coffee is sold in North America, Europe, and Japan, in nearly fifty nations. According to UTZ,
UTZ Certified stands for sustainable farming and better opportunities for farmers, their families and our planet. The UTZ program enables farmers to learn better farming methods, improve working conditions and take better care of their children and the environment. Through the UTZ-program farmers grow better crops, generate more income and create better opportunities while safeguarding the environment and securing the earth’s natural resources.
UTZ starts by educating the coffee farmer, working with him to achieve organic status, and then follows through by providing a market for his organic coffee.
Tough Requirements, Gradual Implementation with UTZ Certified Coffee
The long term goals of UTZ are good agricultural practices, safe and healthy working conditions, abolishment of child labor, and environmental protection. However, a grower does not need to accomplish all that is required in the first year. This allows a grower to sign up to get his coffee UTZ certified, learn what is necessary, and grow into the long term requirements of the program. Because of the close tracking feature of all UTZ Certified products, consumers of healthy organic coffeeproduced by these growers can be assured of product quality as well as the farming practices that brought it to market.
What UTZ Teaches and Requires
A UTZ grower learns to do the following and then continues to do what is needed.
• Reduce and prevent soil erosion
• Keep records of fertilizer and chemical use and use these products responsibly
• Follow good farming practices including integrated pest management
• Avoid deforestation
• Protect water sources, native and endangered species
• Use native fauna for shade grown coffee
• Train workers properly in their own language
• Implement and follow through on health and safety requirements
• Teach and require good hygiene
• Trace coffee from planting to roaster
• Carry out internal inspections every year