With erratic rainfall patterns, degrading soil, influxes of pests and imminent water shortages, climate change is perhaps the biggest threat to agricultural production and the livelihoods of small farmers. Not only is the sector forced to become resilient to climate impacts, it is also challenged with reducing its own carbon footprint – which has been estimated at 13% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Certification to credible sustainability standards is one avenue to address climate change and in recent years many ISEAL members have strengthened their activities in this area and refined their standards to better tackle the global crisis.
UTZ Certified’s position paper affirms the organisation’s commitment to support climate efforts, which must be undertaken by agricultural supply chains as a whole, with investments and partnerships at every level. In the paper, UTZ Certified envisions its future focus on climate change to involve the strengthening the Codes of Conduct to be more explicit on climate change aspects, which include soil conservation, water management and protecting biodiversity.
The organisation has also participated in several pilot projects to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of cocoa and coffee farms and to convert coffee wastewater into energy. According to UTZ, these initiatives have the potential to unlock global climate benefits in terms of reduced emissions and also bring economic opportunities to farmers whose efforts to combat climate change are distinguished in the market.
For more information about UTZ Certified’s current activities and future plans tackling climate change, read the full position paper here.