The Rainforest Alliance and other NGO members of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) developed the first certification standard for sustainable agriculture in the early 1990s. Since then, we have trained 600,000 smallholder farmers and plantation managers in best practices and brought certified sustainable products to mainstream markets. SAN technicians are training palm oil producers to reduce the environmental impacts and increase the social benefits on farms and prepare to meet the rigorous SAN standard, which is required for Rainforest Alliance certification.
Over 120,000 cocoa farms in 11 countries have achieved Rainforest Alliance certification, covering an area of nearly 500,000 hectares (1.24 million acres), and with recent commitments by Unilever, Mars, Kraft and others to source Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa, these numbers are almost certain to increase. The program’s exponential growth has prompted the Rainforest Alliance to take a step back and examine how certification has affected farmers’ livelihoods, families, communities and environments.
The Rainforest Alliance and Citi Foundation have hosted two Sustainable Value Chain Finance Workshops in order to establish a dialogue with agricultural value chain participants regarding ways to expand and improve the financing available for sustainable producers. In the second meeting of this group, held on January 30, 2012, the discussion was focused on risk mitigation in agricultural supply chains. Seventy-nine participants discussed the working hypothesis that adopting and certifying sustainable practices can reduce risk.
Our travel choices can make a difference. That’s why the Rainforest Alliance has joined forces with hotels and tourism organizations to ensure that tourists have vacation options that contribute to the conservation of natural and cultural diversity and the well-being of local communities.