Impact of UTZ Certification of Cocoa in Ivory Coast
The study highlights the need of improvements, both possible and necessary. The revised UTZ code of conduct approved in June 2014, already addresses some of these areas of improvement.
Gender and inclusiveness – Women and youths represent about half of the work force on cocoa farms and yet the report found they were not being reached as effectively by the program. UTZ revised code of conduct provides specific focus on women’s inclusion, participation in trainings and awareness raising sessions.
Premium transparency – The study recommends more transparency on the distribution of the premium. The revised code of conduct clarifies the premium’s procedure and requires more explicit level of transparency subject to yearly external audits.
Awareness of Code requirements on child labor – Although cases of child labor have decreased in UTZ certified cocoa farms, they have not been completely eliminated. UTZ is dedicated to the full eradication of child labor, working closely together with international and local experts, governments and local communities. The organization invests in measures to prevent, detect, remediate and ultimately eradicate child labor on all UTZ certified farms. Read more about UTZ position on Child Labor.
Productivity and profitability – Farmers don’t always see cocoa farming as a feasible option for their children. UTZ believes that sustainable cocoa production can improve economic prospects. UTZ also encourages diversification so that farmers have alternatives that enable them to better cope with risks of climate change and market price fluctuation. Good agricultural- and farm management practices provided by certification, offer the right skills to succeed in different agro-economic sectors.