ISEAL briefing paper: Multiple certification patterns of ISEAL member schemes in the coffee and cocoa industries (2018).

Coffee plantation seen from a drone in Nicaragua © Giuseppe Cipriani for UTZ

ISEAL member standards systems have been collaborating on shared reporting since 2011 to better understand their collective mark on sustainability and to identify opportunities to work together to deepen impacts on people and the environment. This paper, prepared as part of the Demonstrating and Improving Poverty Impacts project, funded by the Ford Foundation, is one of three that will be produced from data pooled across ISEAL member schemes. The other two will address trends in geographic reach and coverage of smallholders.

The goal of this first paper is to better understand to what extent farmers are certified by one or more ISEAL member scheme, to identify key characteristics of multiple certified certificate holders, and to examine regional and commodity-specific patterns in multiple certification. The analysis in this report is based on 2015 certificate level data from Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Fairtrade International, and Global Coffee Platform. Data on over 20 indicators on each certificate was centralized in a common database. The analysis only considers the overlap of four ISEAL members and does not include multiple certification with other certifications such as Organic or C.A.F.E. Practices.


The paper highlights the following key takeaways: 

  • "Multiple certification has a stronger presence in coffee than in cocoa".
  • "Multiple certified groups tend to be larger than non-multiple certified groups".
  • "Multiple certification is higher in certain regions/countries than others".
  • "The most common combination for both coffee and cocoa is of UTZ and Rainforest Alliance".
  • "Multiple certification is largely double certification: having three or more certifications is minimal, although more prominent in coffee compared to cocoa".


To read the full report, click below. 

Posted on 11/02/2019

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DIPI_Multiple_Certification_Analysis_Final_Oct 2018.pdf(3.6 MB) Download