Rainforest Alliance certification does not guarantee a minimum price for certified crops.
While pricing is definitely an important part of certification, and while Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms often generate significantly higher prices for their crops, a system that focuses primarily on pricing may miss out on a number of other critical elements that influence whether or not a farmer can lift himself out of poverty. For example, price-based systems depend on the willingness of customers to pay premiums for certified products, but this approach is of little use to farmers who are not lucky enough to have such customers.
Rather than emphasizing price, Rainforest Alliance certification works to improve the entire spectrum of farming practices. A farmer’s success depends on crop quality, productivity, and efficiency as well as sales price, which is why we address these four areas. We teach farmers to increase their bottom lines and conserve their soils and natural resources, all of which empowers them to become better business people and gives them more control over their futures.
Rainforest Alliance certification requires that all farm workers are paid at least the legal minimum wage and receive full rights and benefits. As part of the Rainforest Alliance certification process, SAN auditors collect information about salaries, including non-monetary benefits such as housing and medical care, and help to ensure that work hours are regulated, overtime is voluntary and compensated, and workers receive health and safety training.