The Rainforest Alliance is transitioning all cocoa traceability to our new digital platform MultiTrace.
The MultiTrace platform provides farmers and companies with more efficiency and transparency. It supports them in the implementation of our new 2020 Certification Program and facilitates high level reporting for their internal management and external communication.
MultiTrace supports a new and improved way of working between the Rainforest Alliance, farmers, and companies. Farmers and companies will have a single transactional system to record all purchases, sales, and conversions of the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certified cocoa. The platform provides users with more information, tailored guidance, and a faster license approval process.
Our vision for traceability
Our vision is to create the link between volumes from individual farms and the final claim being made.
We aim to make full traceability from farm to final product possible, while allowing for flexibility to use the traceability level that best suits specific supply chains within the minimum levels allowed in our program. This includes the launch of Origin Matching Mass Balance, which we see as the evolution and necessary next step in mass balance.
Traceability and MultiTrace platform
Traceability in MultiTrace brings a number of benefits to farmers and companies:
- Farmers and companies will have a single transactional system to record all purchases, sales and conversions of the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certified cocoa. Users will have more efficient and effective mechanisms to meet the Farm Requirements and Supply Chain Requirements of the Rainforest Alliance 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Standard.
- MultiTrace will facilitate high level reporting for internal management and for external communication.
- Companies can identify areas where there are risks or opportunities in the production of their raw materials, and work with the Rainforest Alliance to develop and implement programs at origin. This will allow them to deliver improvements and communicate about them publicly.
How does traceability in MultiTrace support the 2020 Certification Program and related innovations?
End-to-end traceability helps enable the following innovations:
The new standard introduces innovative requirements that aim to make supply chains more equitable. These shared responsibility requirements are made up of two components: the Sustainability Differential (SD) and Sustainability Investments (SI). Please see the Cocoa SD SI guidance for more details.
MultiTrace will enable the recording of the full SD and SI. This will give farmers and companies more clarity and transparency on what investments are made. This includes not only monetary transfers, but also in-kind services provided by the supply chain actors.
MultiTrace also aims to provide more transparency on SD and SI paid down the supply chain, enabling the supply chain actors to take more responsibility for their share in the investments needed for more sustainable cocoa production. It will also provide them with more certainty that their investments are effective and appropriate.
Origin Matching Mass Balance
We are introducing Origin Matching Mass Balance. Origin Matching Mass Balance applies to all three Rainforest Alliance programs: the new 2020 Program as well as previous Rainforest Alliance and UTZ programs. Being able to access and trade within all three programs in one platform makes it much easier for companies to origin match their transactions and provides more flexibility to spread out risks and matches across our different programs.
MultiTrace will also provide functionality that will make it easier to mix and sell volumes in compliance with origin matching requirements.
Lastly, reporting functionality will support companies in making sure they sell the right volumes for compliance.
The Rainforest Alliance allows four traceability levels: Origin Matching Mass Balance (MB), Segregated (SEG), Identity Preserved (IP), and Mixed IP. We are currently phasing out traditional mass balance. MultiTrace will allow companies to use the traceability level that best works for their operations and supply chain.
What are Identity Preserved, Segregated, Mass Balance, and Mixed Identity Preserved traceability levels?
Identity Preserved (IP)
Mixed Identity Preserved (Mixed IP)
Requirements for Cocoa Farmers and Companies
What does end-to-end traceability mean for you?
Companies need to comply with our new traceability requirements in order to continue to use the Rainforest Alliance seal.
Companies need to ensure compliance with their relevant current standard (Rainforest Alliance and/or UTZ) and –from July 1, 2021– the new 2020 Certification Program, including traceability requirements (see section 2.1 and 2.2 of the Supply Chain Requirements). Please read here how to transition the new program.
For which products do we provide traceability?
The traceable supply chain in MultiTrace is extended from the current traceability scope in Marketplace and GIP:
- We provide traceability from cocoa bean to final chocolate product.
- Certain retailers are now also in the scope of certification as important supply chain stakeholders. Go to this page to see which retailers should get Rainforest Alliance Certified.
As of July 1, 2021, this extended scope applies to all three Rainforest Alliance programs: the new 2020 Program as well as previous Rainforest Alliance and UTZ programs. See here how to transition to the new program.
What actions are needed by cocoa companies and farmers to demonstrate traceability in MultiTrace?
- Farm certificate holders are required to sell their volumes in MultiTrace in accordance with the appropriate standard.
- All certificate holders—farmers and companies—will need to log in and announce the sales, purchases, conversions, blends/mixes, manufacturing activities in the traceability platform within the timelines required by our new program. They are also required to indicate the end of the traceable supply chain by “redeeming” their cocoa products in MultiTrace.
- Companies must implement a robust system of spot checks verifying that a sample of incoming volumes matches with corresponding traceability documentation for products labeled with our seal or claimed (incl. off-pack) as Rainforest Alliance Certified.
Transition to MultiTrace platform
What do farmers and companies need to do in order to transition from GIP or Marketplace to MultiTrace?
UTZ Certified producers and companies:
- We will migrate data for UTZ certified producers and companies from Good Inside Portal (GIP) to MultiTrace.
- GIP will be frozen to prepare for migration. This means that during this period you won’t be able to access GIP.
- If you have unconfirmed transactions in GIP, please close these transactions before the freeze period as unconfirmed transactions will not be migrated to MultiTrace.
- During the freeze period we will transition all your UTZ stock from GIP to your new account in MultiTrace. We will not merge these two accounts as part of this process. This will be done as part of the registration process. Please see how to transition to the new program.
- After the data migration you will be able to log into your MultiTrace account to get access to your volumes.
Rainforest Alliance Certified producers and companies:
- We will migrate data for Rainforest Alliance Certified producers and companies from Marketplace to MultiTrace.
- Marketplace will be frozen to prepare for migration. This means that during this period you won’t be able to access Marketplace.
- Please make sure the data you have in Marketplace is up to date before the freeze period as any transactions that are not approved will not be migrated to MultiTrace.
- During the freeze period we will transition all your Rainforest Alliance stock (Transaction Certificates) to your new account in MultiTrace. We will not merge these two accounts as part of this process. This will be done as part of the registration process. Please see how to transition to the new program.
- After the data migration you will be able to log into your MultiTrace account to get access to your volumes.
Will I still be able to access my volumes in GIP or Marketplace after the migration to MultiTrace?
After the migration you will only be able to view GIP or Marketplace in a read-only mode for traceability. You will not be able to perform any traceability related actions in the system.
Will my transaction history be migrated?
Available volume balances from GIP and Marketplace will be migrated. Individual transaction history will not be migrated, but the original systems will be open for read-only access.
What will change after transitioning to MultiTrace?
As part of the new 2020 Certification Program and the new standard (applicable to all users from July 1, 2021 onward)
- First buyers must record Sustainability Differential and Sustainability Investments separately. This will include “agreed to be paid” and actually “paid”.
- The traceability scope will be extended to multi-ingredient products. Users will need to start converting to multi-ingredient products (chocolate) and buying/selling these products.
For MultiTrace users that have previously been using Marketplace (Rainforest Alliance program)
- It will become mandatory to choose the “Redeem” option to indicate the end of the traceable supply chain.
- Transaction Certificates will be submitted as transactions from stock.
- Companies will have to confirm transactions in the platform.
- Companies will be able to directly downgrade from one traceability level to another in the platform.
For MultiTrace users that have previously been using Good Inside Portal (UTZ program)
- “Trace” will become “Redeem”.
- “Butter Full Premium” option will be discontinued and converted to “Cocoa butter”.
- There will be a possibility to mix cocoa of different origins from cocoa liquor onward.
What is a transaction?
A transaction is the movement of volumes between two actors in the supply chain. That can be from producer to a buyer, or from a trader to a manufacturer or blender or packer. Each transaction needs to be announced and confirmed. There are many settings in MultiTrace, such as mandating & trusting which make that easier for the parties involved (e.g. there is no confirmation needed if the two parties of a trade “trust” each other in the system).
What is a stock position?
A stock position is a volume type, that a supply chain actor owns, and which is reflected in MultiTrace. Companies will be able to aggregate stock positions in the platform, so volumes with certain parameters will be combined.
How do I report data in MultiTrace?
Users will log in to MultiTrace and use different data points to perform an activity in the platform. Some of those data points that will be needed are the following:
- volumes (e.g. either sold volume or amount used as an input of a conversion)
- buyer names
- reference numbers (e.g. invoice number)
- activity dates (e.g. a sales date or date of conversion)
- conversion rate
Every company will be able to perform these activities in MultiTrace. Companies with high numbers of transactions will be able to provide an Excel spreadsheet in a designated format for uploading to the platform. During the upload the system will be able to match the data being asked by MultiTrace with the data in the file provided by the company.
What resources are available to you?
We will soon offer MultiTrace user guidance and let you know about the steps you need to take after the transition has been completed. You will receive a link via email to register for the webinars.
As actors transition to the new 2020 Certification Program, further specific MultiTrace training resources will be provided (i.e. on multi-ingredient reporting, redeeming, removing, Sustainability Differential and Sustainability Investments).
What is the timeline for migration to MultiTrace platform?
Producers and companies working with UTZ certified cocoa:
- We will migrate traceability data for producers and companies working with UTZ certified cocoa from GIP to MultiTrace in the week of September 20.
- From the week of September 6 to the week of September 20 GIP will be frozen for traceability to prepare for the migration. This means that during and after this period you will only be able to view GIP in read-only mode for traceability. You will not be able to perform any traceability-related actions in the system anymore.
- If you have unconfirmed transactions in GIP, please close these transactions before September 6, as unconfirmed transactions will not be migrated to MultiTrace.
Producers and companies working with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa:
- The timeline for traceability migration from Marketplace to MultiTrace is being revised. We will inform you about the new dates in follow up communication.
- The Marketplace system freeze will not start in October.
Which account do I use for traceability after migration to MultiTrace?
After the migration your MultiTrace account will be automatically created with your volumes from GIP and Marketplace and with all users. Once the platform is live, you will receive an email to activate your new credentials for MultiTrace.
If you work with both UTZ and Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa volumes, you will temporarily have separate accounts to perform transactions with volumes related to the previous Rainforest Alliance and UTZ standards and our new certification standard. During the next phase we will enable you to manage all of these three programs in one account.
What does this migration mean for my 2020 Rainforest Alliance Certification Platform (RACP) registration?
The migration of cocoa traceability to MultiTrace does not replace your registration to the 2020 Rainforest Alliance Certification Platform (RACP). This means that you will still need to register upon receiving our separate invitation via email if you haven’t done so yet. You can find more information about the registration on our website.
What happens during system freezes?
Good Inside Portal: Only the traceability part for cocoa will be in “read-only” mode from Sept 6th onwards. Herbal tea and rooibos traceability and UTZ certified tea logo requests can still be submitted.
Marketplace: Only the traceability part for cocoa will be in “read-only” mode during system freeze and after. Traceability for all other crops and trademark request can be submitted for all crops during this time of migration and after.
MultiTrace: Traceability for crops in MultiTrace (hazelnuts, tea, and UTZ certified coffee) will be unavailable when migrating cocoa from GIP (during September 6 – September 10) and Marketplace (dates to be confirmed) to MultiTrace. Licensing capabilities for UTZ certified hazelnuts and coffee will also be unavailable.
Registration for the new standard in the RACP will remain unaffected.