UTZ at Tea & Coffee World Cup

Only a few months after the major announcement that UTZ and the Rainforest Alliance have announced the intention to merge by the end of this year, UTZ is happy to present at the Tea & Coffee World Cup to tell all about how these two leading sustainability certification organisations are joining forces in their shared mission to create a world where sustainable farming is the norm.

Stronger collaborations are needed to ensure we are doing the best we can to create a more sustainable planet. The challenges we work on are more urgent than ever: climate change, deforestation, systemic poverty and inequality are increasingly intertwined with the way we manage land and produce food and forest products.

The new organisation, to be named the Rainforest Alliance, will tackle environmental and social issues around the world. It will create a single global certification standard that will simplify certification for farmers and empower companies to build more responsible supply chains, more efficiently. It will also work to expand advocacy efforts and through new partnerships ensure conservation of entire landscapes in priority regions from India to Indonesia and Brazil to Vietnam. Together the two organisations work with over 1.9 million farmers around the world.

Evert Raymakers, head of regional development Asia-Pacific, and Melanie Mokken, market development manager Australia & New Zealand, will talk about how this merger will affect the industry impacting more farmers, workers and communities around the world; and providing greater value for companies already working with or considering working with sustainability certification organisations. “The sustainability landscape is constantly evolving and we need to evolve and innovate to remain focused on increased impact.

UTZ was established 15 years ago as ‘UTZ Kapeh’ (meaning Good Coffee in a Mayan language from Guatemala), with the goal of scaling up sustainability in the coffee sector. Today it is the world’s largest certification programme for coffee and cocoa, with a focus on empowering farmers and strong partnerships with some of the world’s most influential companies.

The Rainforest Alliance has a 30 year history of protecting nature, fighting climate change, and supporting communities. It is the world’s largest certification programme for tea and bananas and also certifies over 100 other agricultural commodities, and the largest non-profit certifier of forestry operations under the FSC standard.

Combining the strengths of both organisations will allow them to increase their impact and deliver greater benefits to farmers, the environment, businesses, and consumers.

Evert Raymakers – head of regional development Asia-Pacific – has extensive work experience in Asia having lived in China for many years. After that he was responsible for Asia for the Port of Rotterdam. Since joining UTZ in 2013 Evert has been working with full dedication on setting up UTZ in China, which now employs two local Chinese representatives. As Head Emerging Markets and Head of Asia Pacific since 2015/2016 Evert plays a key role in improving the connection between sustainable supply and demand across the Asia Pacific region. Evert holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and a Master of Science in Sinology.

Melanie Mokken – market development manager Australia & New Zealand – is responsible for market development in Australia and New Zealand, supporting local and international companies in their sustainable sourcing strategies and developing greater awareness on sustainability and certification programs among the industry and consumers. Melanie, who holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration and a Master of Science in Marketing, joined UTZ in 2014 focussing on communication and PR across the main markets in Europe. After having lived in Amsterdam and Cape Town Melanie moved to Sydney from where she works closely together with Evert on connecting sustainable supply and demand in the Asia Pacific region.

Raymakers and Mokken will be speaking at Tea & Coffee World Cup in the Conference Area on Thursday 28 September 13:00-13:30.

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