The proposed merger between Utz and Rainforest Alliance, which was announced in June 2017, is set to be legally complete for the beginning of 2018. According to a statement from Utz, the two organisations expect to complete the legal merger and begin working to build their new organisation in January 2018. Utz has stated that they are joining forces with Rainforest Alliance because together they can have a greater impact and be betters partner to the many stakeholders they work with. Companies can continue sourcing and labelling Utz certified products at least until the publication of the new certification program in 2019. Utz says that this merger will reduce the complexity of the certification process for companies that are now working with both programs, and at the same time it will increase efficiency and flexibility so that they can continuously improve services to meet business needs. The new certification program aims to bring together and build upon the best of UTZ and the Rainforest Alliance.