Since its founding in 1987, the Rainforest Alliance has pioneered a comprehensive transformation across the industries that most impact our environment -- farming, forestry and tourism -- and successfully engaged the support of consumers around the world to protect the forests and ecosystems that are essential to our future. This report incorporates numerous impact studies to demonstrate how the spread of sound land-use practices and the development of sustainable supply chains have begun to arrest the tide of destruction and lay the groundwork for a better future.
The Rainforest Alliance and other NGO members of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) developed the first certification standard for sustainable agriculture in the early 1990s. Since then, we have trained 600,000 smallholder farmers and plantation managers in best practices and brought certified sustainable products to mainstream markets. SAN technicians are training palm oil producers to reduce the environmental impacts and increase the social benefits on farms and prepare to meet the rigorous SAN standard, which is required for Rainforest Alliance certification.
Over 120,000 cocoa farms in 11 countries have achieved Rainforest Alliance certification, covering an area of nearly 500,000 hectares (1.24 million acres), and with recent commitments by Unilever, Mars, Kraft and others to source Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa, these numbers are almost certain to increase. The program’s exponential growth has prompted the Rainforest Alliance to take a step back and examine how certification has affected farmers’ livelihoods, families, communities and environments.