Switzerland, 24 August 2017 - UTZ, with its large and expanding programme for the production of sustainable cocoa, has become the first organisation to join the International Cocoa Initiative in its newly formed membership category of Non-Profit Contributing Partner. The agreement between the two organisations expands further their existing partnership and confirms their intention to work together to increase child protection in the cocoa supply chain.
ICI and UTZ have been working together since 2013, collaborating to ensure that the UTZ certification approach supports and verifies emerging good practices for tackling child labour, including through the revision of the UTZ Code of Conduct and the provision of tools and trainings.
One of the results of this collaboration so far has been the inclusion of the principle of child labour monitoring and remediation in the UTZ Code of Conduct and the UTZ Guidance for producers. ICI’s innovative Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS), built into the cocoa supply chain and rooted in cocoa farming communities, has served as a reference for a new set of responsible business practices that the UTZ standard aims to promote.
Under this new partnership arrangement, work will continue to examine how UTZ’s enhanced model can serve as a vehicle for the sustainable scale up of such models, enabling certification to aid the expansion of good practices in child protection and child labour reduction.
“UTZ have been a solid partner of ICI’s for many years, but this new agreement will take our collaboration to a new level, “says Nick Weatherill, Executive Director of ICI. “We believe this partnership represents a new way for ICI to partner with a wider circle of stakeholders which will be both innovative and impactful. That’s especially so given the intended merger between UTZ and the Rainforest Alliance, offering even greater prospects to improve the lives of even more cocoa farmers and their families.”
“We are proud to be the first Non-Profit Contributing Partner of ICI. This will not only strengthen the relationship between our two organisations but also contribute to having an even bigger impact on farming communities and children in particular,” says Han de Groot, UTZ Executive Director.