Workers’ Rights: Our Impacts

Nearly 1.3 billion people earn less than US $1.25 per day, making them vulnerable to exploitation by their employers and potentially forcing them to endure unsafe working conditions. Together with our partners, the Rainforest Alliance works to help impoverished individuals and communities protect their rights and earn sustainable livelihoods while conserving natural resources.

Certified Farms Offer Better Working Conditions and Greater Stability

  • In Nicaragua -- the poorest country in Central America -- a study1 by Social Accountability International examined social impacts on farms and found that certified farms outperformed noncertified farms in several areas.
  • In a survey2 of certified and noncertified cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire, 90 percent of farmers whose lands were Rainforest Alliance Certified said that their economic circumstances had improved since they began the certification process.

Higher Wages, Better Training and Safer Conditions at Certified Forestry Enterprises

In a comparison of FSC/Rainforest Alliance Certified forestry3 businesses in Brazil, our local partner group, Imaflora, found that certified enterprises significantly outperformed noncertified businesses in wages, training, safety mechanisms and other key areas.

Certification Benefits Forestry Workers and Communities near World Heritage Sites

A 2011 study of FSC/Rainforest Alliance Certified forests located near UNESCO World Heritage sites found that certified forestry businesses addressed issues of wages, safety and working conditions and helped encourage the viability of their surrounding communities through local purchasing and hiring.

The Social Benefits of Our Work:

  1. Social Accountability International, Measuring Social Impacts Of RA/SAN Certification On Coffee Workers: Technical Report To Rainforest Alliance. 2010.

  2. J. Potts, M. Bennett, D. Giovannucci, A. Russillo, C. Wunderlich and D. Cuming, Rainforest Alliance Certified Cocoa Farms in Côte d’Ivoire: COSA Analysis of Sustainability. Summary Report to Rainforest Alliance, Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA) report, 2010. For a summary of this report, visit http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/publications/evaluating-rainforest-alliance-certification-on-cocoa-farms-in-cote-divoire.

  3. Imaflora, Does Certification Make a Difference? Impact Assessment Study On FSC/SAN Certification In Brazil, 2009. http://www.imaflora.org/downloads/biblioteca/Does_certification_make_a_difference.pdf.

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