Ensuring Our Integrity -- Oversight and Accountability
A Rainforest Alliance Audit and Risk Committee, which is independent of the financial control of the organization and certification and verification decision-making, meets on a quarterly basis and reviews at least annually our performance in maintaining full independence. The Committee is also charged with recommending to the Board of Directors the retention and termination of our independent auditor.
Members of the Committee are not remunerated by the Rainforest Alliance in any way, do not have any material financial interest in any entity doing business with us and are not involved with our certification or verification decision-making.
Fiduciary oversight of our activities rests with our Board of Directors. Although we believe that Director experience with certification and verification can be quite valuable, it is our policy that our Board never be dominated by Directors with an interest in Rainforest Alliance Certified™ or verified operations.
Audit findings are documented in reports that are reviewed for quality and adherence to established procedures.
The Rainforest Alliance is accredited to conduct audits and issue Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificates. FSC is an independent, international organization that promotes responsible management of the world's forests. To achieve and maintain FSC accreditation, we must demonstrate to Accreditation Services International (ASI) that our certification procedures meet stringent technical and procedural requirements and that our structure and procedures guarantee independence of our auditing activities and certification decisions. ASI audits the Rainforest Alliance annually at the headquarters level as well as through sample-based auditing of field performance through audits of Rainforest Alliance forest management and chain-of-custody certificate holders. Every five years ASI undertakes a complete re-accreditation of the Rainforest Alliance.
Our sustainable agriculture auditing activities under the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) are accredited under the International Standardization Organization (ISO) Guide 65 for certification bodies. The following accredited certification bodies are authorized to provide Rainforest Alliance certification based on the SAN standards: Sustainable Farm Certification (SFC), Instituto de Manejo e Certificação Florestal e Agrícola (IMAFLORA), Natura-Cert, AfriCert and Productos y Procesos Sostenibles. Our Forest Stewardship Council-accredited forestry certification program is also ISO compliant; ISO standards are folded into FSC standards.
We are also a member of the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance (ISEAL), an organization established to strengthen the integrity of social and environmental certification systems and whose members are international standard-setting, certification and accreditation organizations.
The Sustainable Agriculture Network's (SAN) standard setting process is certified by ISEAL as being in compliance with ISEAL's Code of Good Practices for Standard Setting.
In addition, the Rainforest Alliance is the international secretariat of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), a coalition of leading conservation groups that links responsible farmers with conscientious consumers by means of the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal. SAN members understand local culture, politics, language and ecology and are trained in auditing procedures according to internationally recognized guidelines.