Who are they?
UTZ is committed to creating a better world with the goal of making sustainable farming the norm. UTZ is the largest program for coffee and cocoa and has certification schemes in other commodities including tea, herbal tea, rooibos and hazelnuts. The UTZ certified label features on over 13,000 different products across 130 countries.
As of 9 of January 2018, UTZ has merged with Rainforest Alliance joining forces to have an even greater impact in tackling issues such as deforestation, climate change, systemic poverty, and social inequity. In 2019 a new certification program bringing together the best of both systems will be launched. In the meantime Rainforest and UTZ certification coexist.
UEBT/ UTZ partnership
UEBT and UTZ came together to launch a herbal tea program in 2015 focusing on the certification of supply chains. This certification combines the strengths of both organisations: UEBT certifies the herbs used for tea (all plants and parts of plants: leaves, fruits, flowers, seeds, roots) and UTZ traces them from producer to the shelf.
This certification associates UEBT standard requirements on biodiversity conservation, sustainable use of biodiversity, fair and equitable benefit sharing of benefits, local development and labor rights with UTZ requirements regarding good agricultural practices, traceability, communication and labeling. The collaboration provides a solution to address sustainability issues in the global herbal tea sector.
After the launch of the UEBT/UTZ herbal tea program in January 2015, the program grew rapidly in 2016 and 2017. Well-known brands like Meßmer, Twining and Aldi, sell UEBT/ UTZ certified herbal teas, while other brands are preparing market introductions.
In the context of UTZ merger with Rainforest Alliance, no changes are foreseen in UEBT/UTZ herbal tea program in the short term. The current set-up will continue in the coming years, and so will the use of the UTZ label on the market, including for herbal tea. Any change will be subject to market consultation. UEBT and UTZ are assessing how to best continue their collaboration in the future, with the aim of further strengthening the partnership in support of ethical sourcing for people and biodiversity.