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Rainforest Alliance and UTZ merge

The ethical certification schemes UTZ and Rainforest Alliance will merge later this year to give them “a greater reach and a stronger voice”.

“By joining forces, we will provide a leading platform to help increase consumer demand for responsibly sourced products,” the organisations said in a joint statement.

The new body will be called the Rainforest Alliance, given that it has the stronger public-facing identity.

Both schemes will continue to work in parallel until a new “unified standard” is published in 2019. The creation of a single auditing process could also save farmers money by reducing audit costs.

Businesses have been advised that there is “no need to change your existing packaging or materials now, and you can continue using the UTZ logo or the Rainforest Alliance seal as normal for the foreseeable future”.

In Monday’s Footprint Premium: campaigners have cried foul over Sainsbury’s decision to stop working with Fairtrade on tea, but is it the regressive step they claim?