AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, October 11, 2012 (ANTARA/PRNewswire) --

10th anniversary seminar Eye on the Future in Amsterdam sets course

50% of the world's total coffee, cocoa and tea production should be made sustainable in the next decade. That is the ambition UTZ Certified announced at her 10th anniversary seminar 'Eye on the Future' that took place yesterday in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The assembly brought together different stakeholders to discuss UTZ and the future role and position of the program within certification.

UTZ Certified aims for further expansion by scaling up, increasing industry commitment and above all building a solid network of farmers, civil societies, NGOs and other relevant players in the supply chain. By combining high-tech approached with the power of nature, UTZ intends to build further on more resilient agricultural practices, increased output, reduced footprints and improved livelihoods for farmers.

Enhanced capacity building

While applauding the successes so far achieved by UTZ and its partners, renown specialists in the field of sustainability outlined the challenges ahead in this venture. Kamau Kuria from Coffee Management Systems and Korotoum Doumbia from CEMOI were clear in their view of the challenges faced by coffee and cocoa farms in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire: access to finance, enhanced capacity building and further outreach to smallholders are key to the improvement of their livelihoods.

Making the impossible possible

Heather Mak, co-author of Signed, Sealed en Delivered, stated that a certain level of harmonization of standards and labels across the sector could be helpful to increasingly meet farmer needs. Nicko Debenham, Director Development and Sustainability of Armajaro stressed the importance of traceability systems, focus on impact and strict adherence to requirements. Gunter Pauli, author of the Blue Economy made a strong plea to always make the impossible possible, for instance by increasing farmers' income by enabling them to grow mushrooms on coffee waste. While stressing the vital importance of drinking water and top soil protection as part and parcel of certification standards, he underlined the important role UTZ must continue to play in meeting farmer needs.

Sustainable farming the norm

UTZ Certified Director Han de Groot concluded that, while indeed concentrating on enhanced farmer livelihoods, UTZ will invest in further growth, both in volumes and impact, in order to make sustainable farming to the norm.


Editor: PR Wire
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