The Rainforest Alliance’s and Sustainable Agriculture Network’s Strategy for Ensuring Our Work is Advancing Human Rights

Training and assessing the impact of our work are two powerful tools that the Rainforest Alliance and other members of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) use to fulfill our shared missions to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable community development. Recently we have learned from independent assessments that we need to move swiftly and surely to ensure our efforts are truly advancing human rights. We are now strengthening and improving the work we do on farms worldwide so that stakeholders consistently benefit.

The SAN has developed standards that farms must meet in order to earn Rainforest Alliance certification. Products sourced from these certified farms can bear the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal, giving businesses and consumers an important role in encouraging farmers to meet the certification standards. The standards include rigorous requirements that help protect workers and the environment.  Trained auditors inspect farms to assess whether or not they meet the standards and then regularly return to certified farms to make sure they continue to meet the standards.

Since auditors cannot be a constant presence on farms, assessments from outside groups can also help confirm that SAN standards are being followed. That’s why the Rainforest Alliance and the SAN take allegations of non-conformances with the standards very seriously and move as quickly as possible to thoroughly investigate complaints and take any necessary actions.

While we have investigated allegations of non-conformances and responded appropriately, feedback from various outside organizations and colleagues has called our attention to the fact that we may need to strengthen and improve how our investigations are conducted and the standards we use to assess worker protection.

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