The Rainforest Alliance has updated its sustainability certification, bolstering the criteria, measurement and impact of the standard with multiple innovations.
Innovations include following climate-smart agriculture, protecting human rights, ensuring social and environmental responsibility, improving data management, tackling deforestation and assessing risk.
The new programme, set to replace existing Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certification programmes from mid-2021, is expected to be used by at least 2m farmers globally to produce better crops, adapt to climate change, increase productivity and reduce costs.
The programme consists of the Sustainable Agriculture Standard, with requirements for farms and supply chains, a new assurance system and tools to measure progress towards sustainability objectives.
The programme was reportedly developed with extensive public consultation, receiving input from more than 1,000 people in nearly 50 countries, representing more than 200 organisations.
“The new certification programme incorporates new tools to support farmers and companies to set clear sustainability targets and focus investments to improve positive impacts for people and nature,” said Ruth Rennie, director of standards and assurance at the Rainforest Alliance. “These tools and innovations will support more resilient agriculture and help make responsible business the new normal. This is increasingly urgent in our age of climate change, biodiversity loss and global inequality.”
“This ambitious and innovative certification programme is part of the Rainforest Alliance’s strategy of collaboration with farmers, companies, implementing partners and third-party auditors, as well as other NGOs, governments and consumers,” said Alex Morgan, chief markets officer at the Rainforest Alliance. “Only together can we restore the balance between people and nature and create a world where we thrive together.”
In May, the Rainforest Alliance released its new seal, which can be used on product packaging and promotional materials from September. The new seal will eventually replace the current Rainforest Alliance-certified seal and the UTZ label.