Our Work in Sustainable Finance

The Rainforest Alliance recognizes that in order to conserve our world’s most precious ecosystems, we must promote an economically viable future for those who depend on the land for their livelihoods. Our Sustainable Finance Initiative was established in order to support small- and medium-scale farms and forestry enterprises working toward Rainforest Alliance certification, and those already certified, to access the financing they need to help their businesses grow and become economically sustainable.

Many farmers, foresters and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) need credit to finance the investments necessary to improve the environmental, social and economic sustainability of their businesses. And in developing countries, agriculture and forestry businesses are typically owned by smallholders, who often have difficulty accessing credit lines. Banks sometimes consider these potential clients to be high-risk borrowers, particularly for long-term loans.

Fortunately, lenders at the forefront of the sustainability and impact investment movement already recognize that Rainforest Alliance Certified™ producers that meet the environmental and social standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network and Forest Stewardship Council -- as well as those that are well on their way to certification -- are worthwhile investments from a financial and social impact return perspective. The Rainforest Alliance’s technical and market access assistance is also highly valued by lenders as a risk mitigation tool.

The Rainforest Alliance provides support to certified producers and SMEs, and those in the process of achieving certification, by helping to identify their financial needs, drafting borrower profiles, supporting them with business and financial management technical assistance, and linking them with the appropriate financial institutions. The Rainforest Alliance does not lend money or assess credit worthiness directly but makes introductions to lenders who then complete their own due diligence. We also work to educate these institutions about the investment needs of sustainable producers and to influence the design of financial products suitable for sustainable producers.


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How does the Rainforest Alliance support access to finance?
What types of loans does the Rainforest Alliance support?
Where can the Sustainable Finance Initiative offer assistance?
How can I participate in the Sustainable Finance Initiative?
How can I find out more about the Sustainable Finance Initiative?
What is the Sustainable Finance Initiative doing to help cocoa farmers in West Africa?

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