2009: Thanks For Another Wonderful Year…

Published: November 2010

Despite the fiscal challenges that marked 2009, the Rainforest Alliance demonstrated that by making real investments in sustainability businesses are better able to withstand the vicissitudes of shifting economic tides. As we herald in a new decade, we present some of our proudest achievements from the past year...

We took a stand at the United Nations Fiftienth Conference of Parties (COP15) and fought for the greater inclusion of forests (and reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) in a milestone climate change agreement.

Chocolate became a whole lot sweeter as Kraft Foods committed to using cocoa beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms across its entire Côte d'Or and Marabou lines, Mars, Inc. pledged to get its entire cocoa supply certified as sustainably produced by 2020 and the Blommer Chocolate Company -- the largest cocoa processor in North America -- announced that it would offer a line of certified products in 2010.

We held our second annual Picture Sustainability photo contest and gathered a beautiful collection of conservation images from a number of talented amateur photographers.

The Rainforest Alliance established an active presence in the social networking world, garnering 4,200 fans on Facebook and 4,300 followers on Twitter. [Not a fan or follower – become one now!]

Setting an example for the entire industry, Staples -- the world's largest office supply company -- signed a commitment to analyze and improve the social and environmental footprint of its paper supply.

The Rainforest Alliance was distinguished as the first Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certifier to be fully accredited under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (for greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies).

We took home a 2009 Travel + Leisure Global Vision Award for "set[ting] the bar for green travel."

Just over 12,500 smallholder tea farmers became the first-ever group of smallholder tea growers to achieve Rainforest Alliance certification.

Nestlé Nespresso committed to sourcing 80 percent of its coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms by 2013.

The Rainforest Alliance's SmartWood program certified the first biomass pellet mill in the United States to FSC standards, a significant step in the FSC's entry into renewable energy sources.

In collaboration with USAID, we launched a new Global Development Alliance to increase the ability of communities in Ghana and Honduras to manage forests sustainably and respond to the rapidly developing marketplace for forest-based carbon offsets.

The Rainforest Alliance concluded a landmark study demonstrating that by employing the management methods we teach in our sustainability workshops, businesses gain tangible benefits. [See more studies by our Evaluation and Research team on the value of sustainability criteria in agriculture, forestry and tourism.]

With support from the Ojon Corporation (owned by Estée Lauder Companies) and the Honduran nonprofit MOPAWI, we began working with the indigenous Tawira of Honduras to bring sustainability and productivity to the harvest of Ojon oil.

With honorary chair and founder of the Luz Foundation, Gisele Bundchen, the Rainforest Alliance celebrated 22 years of sustainability at our annual gala on May 6, 2009.

Thanks to your generous support, we look forward to introducing hundreds of additional businesses, consumers, farmers, foresters and tourism entrepreneurs to sustainability in 2010. Happy New Year from the Rainforest Alliance!

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