The Rainforest Alliance and IMAFLORA Join Forces with Brazilian Coffee Industry

November 23, 2009

Three nonprofit organizations have teamed up to promote the growth of the sustainable coffee industry in Brazil. At an Encafé conference in the state of Bahia this past weekend, the Rainforest Alliance announced a joint collaboration with its long-time Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) partner, IMAFLORA, and the Brazilian Coffee Industry Association (ABIC, for its name in Portuguese).

By combining ABIC's industry connections and IMAFLORA and the Rainforest Alliance's on-the-ground knowledge of sustainable coffee production, the organizations hope to increase awareness and domestic demand for Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee in one of the largest coffee-consuming nations in the world. The collaboration will help to educate the national coffee industry about environmental stewardship, biodiversity conservation and the enhancement of rural livelihoods within the coffee sector.

"Rainforest Alliance Certified farms improve their management and on-the-ground practices, which often results in better coffee growing conditions," said Sabrina Vigilante, director of markets (America and Australasia) for the Rainforest Alliance. "Through this initiative, we aim to recognize Brazilian roasters and producers of specialty coffee for doing their part in conserving ecosystems and improving sustainable livelihoods."

Brazilian Coffee Sacks with the Rainforest Alliance Seal

"The number of coffee farms with the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal grows each year, which means more producers are meeting strict criteria for responsible production," said Eduardo Trevisan Gonçalves, for IMAFLORA Brazil. "This initiative will help Brazilian consumers have the privilege of drinking a coffee that contributes to the environment and the welfare of workers."

"This agreement with the Rainforest Alliance will create a major improvement in demand for certified coffee in Brazil," says Almir José da Silva Filho, president of ABIC. "The Brazilian consumers are increasingly aware and want to know how a product was manufactured and if it respected economic, social and environmental standards."

Rainforest Alliance Certified farms must meet the environmental, social and economic standards of the SAN. The SAN standards cover ecosystem conservation, worker rights and safety, wildlife protection, water and soil conservation, agrochemical reduction, decent housing, and legal wages and contracts for workers. The Rainforest Alliance and IMAFLORA also work with farmers to help them document the quality of their coffees, determine defects and make improvements.

Currently, there are 87 Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farms in Brazil, covering 214,549 acres (86,825 hectares). Worldwide, over 785,110 acres (317,723 hectares) of coffee farms are currently Rainforest Alliance Certified, and the number continues to grow each month.