The Rainforest Alliance mourns the horrific and violent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and scores of other Black people killed in recent years by institutionalized racial violence in the United States. We condemn this violence against Black people, and other people of color, in the United States and around the world.
At the same time, we have witnessed tens of thousands of preventable COVID-19 deaths of Black Americans who are dying at three times the rate of white people. This highlights the deep racial inequities embedded in our systems––be it in healthcare, law enforcement, employment, or education.
As an international organization, we are acutely aware that centuries-old, systemic racism, discrimination, and violence against minority groups are pervasive in many parts of the world. The Rainforest Alliance denounces racism and discrimination in any form and applauds movements for racial justice. All of us must stand in solidarity and actively work for rapid and deep structural change to achieve the vision set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Rainforest Alliance works with millions of farmers and thousands of companies to tackle many abuses including forced labor, modern day slavery, child labor, gender inequality, and attacks on the rights of Indigenous and traditional peoples––from Brazil and Indonesia to Cameroon and Kenya. We strive to hold accountable the global companies and brands that source vast quantities of commodities from these regions.
As a global community, we at the Rainforest Alliance have the responsibility to do everything in our own area to create an environment free of racism, discrimination, and inequality. We will immediately commence listening and discovery sessions to identify areas where we can improve. This will include examining processes such as hiring and other key moments in our work cycle. And there is more we must do to integrate the principles of racial equity into the foundation of our work on conservation and livelihoods.
We are committed to and hold ourselves accountable for addressing these challenges.