What Does “Rainforest Alliance Certified™” Mean?
Our little green frog really gets around--and that’s good news for people and the planet. These days, you can find the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal on a rapidly growing list of products and services, including coffee, chocolate, tea, fruit, flowers, paper, furniture and tourism lodges.
Products bearing the seal originate on--or contain ingredients sourced from--Rainforest Alliance Certified farms or forests. These farms and forests are managed according to rigorous environmental, social and economic criteria designed to conserve wildlife; safeguard soils and waterways; protect workers, their families and local communities; and increase livelihoods in order to achieve true, long-term sustainability. Tourism businesses that feature the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal meet the Rainforest Alliance comprehensive sustainability standards for tourism.
Farms seeking Rainforest Alliance certification are regularly audited by members of our own certification team or one of our international partners in the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). These visits, along with occasional surprise audits, ensure that farmers are complying with the SAN’s comprehensive guidelines and are working toward continual improvement. Farms that have earned the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal are taking steps to:
- Maintain or increase tree cover
- Conserve soil quality and prevent erosion
- Reduce chemical use
- Protect wildlife
- Ensure the well-being of workers and their families by facilitating access to education and healthcare
Our auditors evaluate logging companies and other forestry businesses against the globally respected criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which the Rainforest Alliance helped to establish in 1993. FSC criteria require that forest businesses:
- Protect endangered species and forest areas of high conservation value
- Set aside a portion of land as forest reserve
- Provide workers with decent wages and protect their ability to organize
- Follow FSC guidelines that determine how, when and where timber and non-timber forest products are harvested
- Respect the rights of local communities and indigenous people
Proprietors of tourism businesses that demonstrate they are minimizing their environmental footprint and supporting workers, local cultures and surrounding communities may also be eligible for using the seal. Audits confirm these businesses meet requirements that include:
- Protection of nearby ecosystems
- Wise use of natural resources
- Climate change mitigation
- Benefits to the social and cultural development of surrounding communities