Food & Farming

Feeding a Growing Population

What's at Stake

Agriculture drives 80 percent of global deforestation and about 1.5 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Maximizing harvests on existing cropland is critical to a secure global food supply. The race to feed the world’s growing population (9 billion by 2050), while conserving our natural resources, begins now.

Man in slashed and burned landscape in MBR

A man stands amidst a slashed-and-burnt landscape that was once lush forest. Laguna Del Tigre, Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala

Photo credit: David Dudenhoefer

Food vs. Forests

If we want to save forests, we've got to work with farmers. Subsistence farming and commercial farming combined are responsible for more than 80 percent of global deforestation. As the world's population increases, so does the demand for food—and with it, the pressure to raze forests for more farmland. Making current cropland more productive is one of the most direct ways to halt deforestation.

Woman washing bananas

Woman washing bananas in Costa Rica

Photo credit: Rob Goodier

Bananas: the World's Most Important Fruit

Banana export crops, worth US $5 billion annually, are crucial to the economies of many developing countries in the tropics, where poor people are heavily involved in their production. The cultivation of bananas, a staple for approximately 500 million people around the globe, has major environmental impacts on tropical ecosystems.

Our Work

Our Work in Food & Farming

The Rainforest Alliance works with the farmers on the front lines of the global movement to build food security through sustainable agriculture. We train farmers in some of the world's most vulnerable landscapes to farm in a way that conserves forests, protects streams and rivers, nurtures soil health, and boosts crop yields.

Farmer Adrien Kouadio Koffi in his shade-grown cocoa field

Farmer Adrien Kouadio Koffi in his shade-grown cocoa field in Côte d’Ivoire.

Photo credit: Nice and Serious

Cocoa That's Good for Forests

Most of the world’s cocoa is grown by farmers like Adrian Kouadio on small plots of land throughout West Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. Economic hardship and climate change pose urgent challenges for the world's 5 million smallholder cocoa farmers. Efficient and sustainable farm management is key to stopping the destructive cycle of poverty, deforestation, and climate change.

Learn more about how we are working to achieve our mission.
Our Impact

Our Impact

The Rainforest Alliance trains farmers around the world to conserve forests, boost the productivity of the land, and support the well-being of their communities. Thanks to these farmers, 8.3 million acres (3.4 million hectares) of land are being managed sustainably—bringing us closer to an Earth rebalanced.

Land area under sustainable management

4.2 million acres

of agricultural land area under sustainable management

4,165,737 acres of agricultural land under sustainable management = the number of acres certified by the Rainforest Alliance under the standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN).
Data accurate as of December 31, 2015.

Transforming Our Relationship to the Land

The farmers we work with are managing millions of acres of agricultural land sustainably. Their efforts to foster the health of the forests, rivers, and streams around their farms is vital to the global movement to rebalance the Earth.

people trained in earth-friendly land management practices

1.3 million farmers

trained in best management practices

Data accurate as of April 30, 2016.

The Farmers in Our Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance has trained 1.3 million farmers around the world in agricultural methods that conserve forests, cultivate soil health, protect waterways, and improve livelihoods.

Learn more ways we are achieving real results.
Get Involved

Get Involved

Join us to help rebalance the earth.

Sumatran tiger - photo by Evan Bowen-Jones, Fauna & Flora International

Did you know cinnamon is harvested once every 10-15 years? Or that cinnamon farmers share land with endangered Sumatran tigers?

Goat on caffeine

We learned about coffee from goats? Why is shade-grown coffee superior? Learn about coffee-growing communities around the world.

Ramon nut, a sustainable superfood - photo by Sergio Izquierdo

How will we feed the 9 billion people who will share Earth in 2050?