In May, we presented the Rainforest Alliance’s new certification seal for product packaging to all our partner companies, along with (technical) guidance and support documents. The new seal will replace the current Rainforest Alliance Certified seal and the UTZ label.
As part of the new measures to strengthen our cocoa certification programs, we will accelerate the transition of the new seal for Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa products, linking the access to and use of the new seal to the new farm and supply chain requirements. In order to use the new seal, please make sure to carefully read these new measures and requirements and to make preparations where applicable to meet them.
Below you find a timeline for implementing the new seal and phasing out of the current Rainforest Alliance Certified seal and UTZ label.
- May, 2020: companies receive an email with links to the new Rainforest Alliance seal, as well as (technical) guidance and support documents for seal use;
- From June 1, 2020:
- Companies need to sign a new License Agreement with the Rainforest Alliance;
- Companies can download the new seal and start submitting artwork for product packaging with the new seal for approval on Marketplace;
- September 1, 2020:
- Product packaging with the new Rainforest Alliance seal can be sold to consumers;
- Begin phase out of the current Rainforest Alliance seal and UTZ label: artwork related to the current seal or label can no longer be submitted.
- September 21-27, 2020: Follow the Frog campaign
- March 1, 2021: Using product packaging with the new seal becomes mandatory.
Phasing out the old seals
Please be reassured, you are not required to take products with the old Rainforest Alliance seal or the UTZ label off the shelf starting September 1st. To be conscious of costs and the environment, we allow a six-month period to finish selling off existing packaging, gradually phasing out the old seal, before using new packaging with the new seal becomes mandatory.
If your company requires additional time to sell off products using existing packaging, Rainforest Alliance may grant an extension to December 31, 2021 on the condition that your company signs a new license agreement by March 1, 2021 granting the right to use Rainforest Alliance marks.
For any company with over 500 cocoa product SKUs in the market as of June 1, 2020 with the legacy Rainforest Alliance Certified seal or the UTZ label on pack, we recognize your intent to transition as many of these SKUs as possible to the new Rainforest Alliance Certified seal by December 31, 2021. Given the potential difficulty of transitioning this number of SKUs and provided the company has executed a License Agreement (2020 Version) with Rainforest Alliance, the Rainforest Alliance will permit 15% of these SKUs to carry the legacy seal or label until December 31, 2022, when all products must be fully transitioned to the new Rainforest Alliance Certified seal.
Retailers selling products with the legacy Rainforest Alliance seal or UTZ label will not be required to remove products from shelves.