Rainforest Alliance Certified Cocoa
Adrien Koffi Kouadio owns a Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa farm in Paul Kru, Côte d'Ivoire. For Kouadio, cocoa cultivation is a way of life that is intertwined with family traditions reaching back for generations. Most of the world’s cocoa is grown by farmers like him on small plots of land throughout West Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. The world’s five million smallholder cocoa farmers—many of whom are already struggling with economic hardship—are also contending with the effects of climate change: hotter temperatures, unpredictable rainfall and a shift in growing seasons. Rigorous training in efficient and sustainable farm management is the key to stabilizing their microclimate and stopping the destructive cycle of poverty and deforestation.
Supporting Farmers and Communities
The Rainforest Alliance has been working to strengthen the position of smallholder cocoa farmers since 2006—both on the land and in the marketplace—by training them to conserve natural resources, increase productivity and secure decent living and working conditions. Rainforest Alliance Certified farms are audited annually against rigorous environmental, social and economic criteria that protect biodiversity and foster a culture of respect for workers and local communities.
Protecting Land and Waterways
The Rainforest Alliance is providing cocoa farmers across Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia with the tools and incentives to farm sustainably. In recent years, we have greatly expanded our work in West Africa, where nearly 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is produced. Through our training programs, cocoa farmers learn methods that increase efficiency, as well as the productivity and resilience of the land; the certification process also encourages cooperation between farmers to market certified products more effectively. While we don’t guarantee farmers a price premium, Rainforest Aliance Certified farms generally do sell at higher prices because of the growing demand for certified crops. Independent studies show that Rainforest Alliance training leads to increased yields and income, as well as many other long-term benefits for farmers, families and communities that depend on cocoa.