The Rainforest Alliance has updated itssustainabilitycertification, bolstering thecriteria, measurementand impactof the standard with multipleinnovations.
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 toreplace existingRainforest Alliance and UTZcertification programmesfrommid-2021, is expected to be used by at least 2mfarmers globallyto produce better crops, adapt to climate change, increase productivity and reduce costs.
The programmeconsists of the Sustainable Agriculture Standard,with requirementsfor farms and supply chains,a new assurance system and toolstomeasure progresstowards sustainability objectives.
The programmewas reportedly developed with extensivepublic consultation, receiving input frommore than1,000 people in nearly 50 countries,representingmore than200organisations.
“The new certification programme incorporates new tools to support farmers and companiestoset clear sustainability targetsand focusinvestmentsto improve positiveimpactsforpeople and nature,”said Ruth Rennie,directorofstandards andassurance at the Rainforest Alliance.“These toolsandinnovations will supportmoreresilient agricultureand helpmakeresponsible business the new normal. Thisis increasinglyurgentinour age ofclimate change, biodiversity lossand global inequality.”
“Thisambitious and innovative certification programmeispart of the Rainforest Alliance’sstrategyofcollaborationwithfarmers, companies,implementing partnersandthird-party auditors,as well asotherNGOs, governmentsand consumers,”said Alex Morgan,chiefmarketsofficerat the Rainforest Alliance.“Only together can we restore thebalancebetween people and nature and create a world where we thrive together.”
InMay,the Rainforest Alliancereleased itsnew seal, which can be used on product packaging and promotional materials from September. The new seal willeventuallyreplace the current Rainforest Alliance-certified seal and the UTZ label.