When the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ merged earlier this year, they not only brought together a wealth of experience in transforming landscapes through certification, each organization brought its own sustainable agriculture standard. Now the new organization is drawing on decades of combined experience to create a single standard that maximizes positive impacts on the ground. To that end, the new Rainforest Alliance recently formed a Standard Committee, with representation from producers, companies, NGOs (or individual experts), certification bodies, staff representatives, and other stakeholders.
“These are exciting moments for the Standard Committee,” says Britta Wyss Bisang, Chief Sustainable Supply Chain Officer at the Rainforest Alliance. “The committee is highly involved in the development of the new standard. In fact, the committee has just finalized the work on the Terms of References, allowing our technical staff to develop the first draft of the standard and to start an internal consultation. After this is completed we will do extensive external consultations with our stakeholders.”
Wyss Bysang continues, “We’re looking forward to the new Standard Committee’s next steps. We believe the new standard will have a greater social, environmental, and economic impact, giving farmers and producers an enhanced framework to improve their livelihoods while protecting the landscapes where they live and work.”
External consultation with all our stakeholder groups is planned to start in the fall this year. A first draft of the standard will be published, and a full public consultation carried out. This will include workshops, and an open online survey. Stay tuned and contribute to the development of the new Rainforest Alliance Standard.
Find the new certification timeline and sign up for updates here.