Update on the system to approve CBs for the new Certification Program
Rainforest Alliance is collaborating with Assurance Services International (ASI) to work on the CB Application Assessment for the New Assurance Program. This will provide input for the authorization process for the new Rainforest Alliance certification program. We are currently reviewing the surveys which have been received on which country and scope you would like to apply for in the new program. After review we will be in contact with you to invite you to apply for certain scope and countries for our New Assurance Program. You can expect to hear from us in the coming weeks on this.
As the Assessment Process is being subcontracted to ASI, there will be a fixed application fee of 5,890 EUR that will be directly invoiced by ASI. Please also note there will be additional annual fees applicable from 2022. Further information on these costs will be communicated to you within the coming months.
Lastly, we will be holding webinars in August to explain and answer any questions relevant to these assessments and the Authorization Process. More information on the exact dates and times will be sent to you shortly.If you already have questions on this process now, please get in contact with us on email@example.com
Launch of the new Certification Program
After years of development, we are proud to announce the launch of the Rainforest Alliance 2020 Certification Program, the first standard and assurance system launched since the merger in 2018 between UTZ and The Rainforest Alliance. The Rainforest Alliance 2020 Certification Program defines our long-term vision for the future, and the path required to get us there. The Sustainable Agriculture Standard, along with its assurance and technology systems, are designed to deliver more value to the two million farmers and thousands of businesses that use Rainforest Alliance certification to drive more sustainable agricultural production and responsible supply chains.
Please find all information on this here. For more information on the transition to the new program read the next section!
For any questions on the new Certification Program, please email us on CBcert@ra.org (This email address replaces the one you have been using to date i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org). If the question is related to the Farm Requirements, please put this in the subject line. If it is related to the Supply Chain Requirements please put this in the subject line. And lastly if it is related to Assurance, please include this in the subject line. This allows us to be more efficient when responding to you.
Transition rules and their implications for CBs
Transitioning to this brand-new certification program is starting now for the 7500+ certificate holders and 50+ certification bodies. This article aims to help you understand the transition period and provide key resources to help you along.
We have prepared the following resources to make the transition easier for you:
- Which audits happen when and all other aspects of the transition period are regulated by the RA 2020 Transition Rules. This website contains the Frequently Asked Questions around the Transition Period aimed at Certificate Holders. Please feel free to use this in the communication with your clients.
- The main documents of the 2020 Certification Program can be found here. Even if you have missed the Introduction to the RA 2020 Certification Program webinar, you can still access the recordings, and slides.
- The glossary of the RA 2020 Certification Program: finding a common language for the new certification program has not been easy and all of us will need to get used to new terminology. The glossary is an online tool that should help in this transition.
- We aim at publishing a Transitions Tool in August, which defines the specific transition timelines for around 22 different scenarios of transitioning certificate holders, based on current standard, scope (farming or not) and expiry date of the certificate. We hope that this tool will make the interpretation of the Transition Rules easier and enable harmonized answers to be given to Certificate Holders by all our Certification Bodies as well as the staff of the Rainforest Alliance.
- We are working on guidance documents around specific aspects of the 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Standard , which will be available end 2020.
We are currently working on the translations of the key documents of the 2020 Certification Program into a variety of languages, including including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesia, Mandarin, Turkish, German, Italian and Japanese (the last 3 only for a sub-set of documents, not related to farming). We hope the first translations will be online in August, with the rest following soon after.
The trainings of CB trainers on the 2020 Certification Program are being scheduled for the end of 2021. Our roll-out program includes trainings also to an extensive Associated Training Network to intensify the reach of our trainings to certificate holders in 2022.
Roll Out of Reimagining Certification (RC)
The Roll-out will implement a phased approach based on the strategic decision made by the RC Steering Committee. The 1st phase of roll-out training for Certificate Holders at farm level and CBs in the first phase (September-July 2020-21) will be on the core requirements of the Farm Standard and the new Certification and Auditing Rules. The focus of the roll-out training for Supply Chain Actors will be on the full set of Supply Chain Requirements, Certification and Auditing Rules, and Transition Rules. The 2nd phase of roll-out training (July 2021-22) will be lighter in content and scope and will focus at farm level on the purpose and use of smart meters as well as improvement requirements. There will be specific training on smart meters as this is a new innovation that will require both CHs and CBs to change their practices in capturing data related to certification.
Phase 1 will be divided into two stages. Stage 1 will consist of live online sessions delivered from September until December 2020. These will cover internal and external training on the Sustainable Agriculture Standard and Assurance system. The training will focus on the principles behind the standard and assurance system, expectations for implementers, and where to find further information. Stage 2 (January-July 2021) will consist of external training delivered through online live sessions, F2Fsessions, and e-courses (subject to COVID-19 restrictions).
Thank you for all of you who sent us the names of the lead trainers for your organization. We will be in touch with them in the coming weeks to invite them to the online sessions. For any questions on this in the meantime please reach out to email@example.com
MORE UPDATES FROM THE JULY NEWSLETTER CAN BE FOUND HERE.
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