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Student Page: Banana Standards for Rainforest Alliance Certification

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To satisfy standard, farms must:

Ecosystem Conservation

Agriculture should promote conservation and improvement of ecosystems.

  • Have a plan to conserve and improve ecosystems within the farm.
  • Never remove forest existing forest.
  • Plant forest or let it regrow in areas where bananas can't be grown.

Wildlife Conservation

Special steps should be taken to protect and enhance wildlife, especially species that are in danger of extinction.

  • Not grow bananas in national parks or refuges.
  • Prohibit hunting or collecting plants or animals from farmland.

Fair Treatment and Good Conditions for Workers

Agriculture should improve the standard of living for workers and their families.

  • Not discriminate against workers.
  • Pay workers at least the minimum wage.
  • Not hire minors.
  • Not block workers from unions.
  • Have safety policies and procedures to reduce the number of accidents.
  • Provide resident workers with safe and healthy living conditions.

Community Relations

Companies must demonstrate a commitment to the economic and social well-being of the communities in which they work.

  • Help protect community forests and watersheds.
  • Communicate openly with relevant community groups.
  • Locate new plantations at least 100 feet from villages or towns.

Limited Use of Pesticides and Chemical Fertilizers (agrochemicals)

Agriculture should limit the use of agrochemicals, which will benefit workers, local communities, soil quality, water resources and natural ecosystems.

  • Use other methods besides chemicals to control pests, such as weeding and using ground covers.
  • Only use the least toxic chemical possible.
  • Never use certain pesticides, which are highly toxic.
  • Use safe practices when transporting, storing, and using chemicals.

Waste Management

All farms must have an integrated plan for managing all waste products that promotes environmentally sound reduction, reuse, recycling, and disposal.

  • Make composting a priority.
  • Recycle plastic, paper, wood, metals and glass.
  • Not burn trash.
  • Properly dispose of hazardous materials.

Conservation of Water Resources

Agriculture should promote conservation and rehabilitation of water resources.

  • Have strips along rivers, streams, or lakes that are not farmed.
  • Recycle and reuse water.
  • Treat waste water before returning it to nature.
  • Monitor water quality.

Soil Conservation

Agriculture should promote the conservation and enrichment of soils so as to assure productivity for the long and short term.

  • Conserve soil by using organic fertilizers, mulch, and compost.
  • Protect soil by not contaminating it with hazardous materials.
  • Let plants grow between the banana plants to improve and protect the soil.

Environmental Planning and Monitoring

Agriculture should be planned, monitored, and evaluated on its technical, social, environmental, and economic impacts.

  • Have a plan for improving the social and environmental conditions of the farm in the short and long term.
  • Review the plan periodically and make adjustments.

Source: Adapted from the Sustainable Agriculture Standard version February 2008.

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