The Rainforest Alliance is creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities.
Instead of protecting nature from people, our alliance works to restore the balance between people and nature so they both thrive in harmony.
We are an alliance of people who pledge to take action. We do this because we want to shift markets toward being net positive for people and nature.
Why work with markets and companies?
Markets need to change. They need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
The Rainforest Alliance supports the communities that care for our most critical landscapes to thrive together with nature. We do this by accelerating and scaling up the social and market forces that protect, restore, and regenerate these ecosystems.
We want agricultural, food, and forestry supply chains to internalize different values; to not degrade—but restore, to not displace—but include, to work in harmony with people and nature—not against them.
We want markets to become the fastest and most scalable solution to the collapse of the Earth’s most critical ecosystems. We work in collaboration with millions of farmers and farmworkers to shift market incentives toward rewarding positive social, economic, and environmental impacts. By doing that, local communities become both the stewards and the primary beneficiaries of thriving landscapes.
We use a ‘continuous improvement’ approach. We partner with people and organizations to move from harmful and degrading practices to sustainable and regenerative ones. In short: We go where we’re needed.
Why form an alliance?
Global crises need a joint and systemic approach. We are an alliance of people who pledge to take action.
We need to move beyond the current mindset of fragmented, incremental, project-centric efforts which are holding us back.
Our alliance of more than four million farmers and farmworkers, as well as forest communities, companies, governments, civil society partners, and millions of individuals are committed to creating a world where people and nature thrive together.
Together we work to protect forests and biodiversity, take action on climate, and promote the rights and improve the livelihoods of rural people.
What’s the strategy?
Our strategy is to accelerate the speed and scale of impact through a virtuous cycle; where more sustainable farmers lead to more committed companies and consumers, leading to more investment and support for farmers, and so on. Everyone benefits from this cycle.
This shift in value creation is rooted in regenerative production systems that create a net-positive impact for people and nature—a win-win-win model:
- Rural Producers have more economic wellbeing, and are able to adapt and build resiliency, by implementing our sustainability standards. This in turn helps
- Global Citizens to build trust in our brand, and confidently use their choices responsibly, which inspires
- Companies to build stronger supply chains, greater stakeholder trust, shareholder confidence, consumer loyalty, and achieve their sustainability goals. This mobilizes
- Investors to support our market-based impact model, because governments, philanthropists, and institutions see a higher return on investment by protecting and restoring nature than by degrading it.
What are our interventions?
To shift markets to being regenerative and net positive, we must work with both sides of market forces.
Therefore, we use reinforcing offerings to shift both ‘supply’ and ‘demand’:
SUPPLY: Thriving Farm and Forest Communities
We work at the Supply level by developing:
Standards and Frameworks
Our standards and frameworks, built on decades of certification experience, puts farmers front and center to achieve impact. We meet producers where they are and help them move from harmful and degrading practices to sustainable and regenerative ones that have a real impact and can also improve livelihoods.
This includes supporting producers with training and technical assistance, information and data, and access to markets. We collaborate with local allies who work at a landscape level to unlock incentives, subsidies, and benefits that reward a producer’s progress towards net-positive impacts.
Our thriving landscapes work is built on years of landscape and communities programs. In Rainforest Alliance-supported Thriving Landscapes, positive impacts for people and nature are co-created by stakeholders working in alliance towards a shared transformative vision for the landscape.
We focus on some of the world’s most critical production landscapes, and ‘Thriving Landscapes’ are places of extremely high environmental value where we will bring all our interventions together. They are:
- Selva Maya in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize.
- San Martín in the Tropical Andes Corridor, Peru.
- Sui River in the Guinean Trans-Boundary Forest, Ghana.
- Mount Kenya in the East African Highlands, Kenya.
- North Luwu in the Malay Archipelago, Indonesia.
We will continue to work in surrounding strategic geographies and other high value geographies to improve economic, environmental, and social issues for farm and forest communities.
By regenerating and sustaining these landscapes, local communities can continue to produce to support their livelihoods and thriving markets—and do so in harmony with nature. This ensures that farm and forest communities prosper over time, and supply chains can adapt and remain resilient.
DEMAND: Thriving Markets
We work at the Demand level with:
Transparency and Claims
There is a wealth of data among the thousands of companies, farm and forest communities within our alliance. We are working to provide companies, governments, investors, and citizens with credible evidence and verified data that help them move from harmful and degrading practices to more sustainable and regenerative ones.
We aim to do this through offering evidence-based claims and data that help them measure their contribution to sustainability transformation.
Brand and Advocacy
Using our status and authority to build trust and improve how our markets behave.
This includes ensuring;
- Market actors (like companies, governments, shareholders, and investors) see the value in being net positive, and take action for people and nature,
- and Individuals use their collective power to reinforce the systems change we need.
We support these interventions with our other strengths:
- Advocacy and government engagement
- Public communications
- Stakeholder engagement
- Thought and action leadership