As of 2019, more than 80 percent of the products with the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal contained or sourced 90-100 percent certified ingredients. And in May 2020 we introduced even stricter requirements for the use of our new seal: the 2020 Labeling Policy.
For our new 2020 seal, all products, except herbal teas and palm oil, must contain at least 90 percent of the certified ingredient or, in the case of mass balance supply chains, 100 percent of the equivalent certified volume must be certified against the Rainforest Alliance or UTZ standard.
Why are there exceptions?
When it comes to herbal teas, products must contain at least 40 percent of the certified ingredient(s) to use our new seal. The main reason for this lower threshold is the limited supply of some of the different herbal ingredients such as berries, licorice, and mint. While there are thousands of coffee, cocoa, tea and banana farms certified according to our standards, there are much less licorice or mint farms, for example.
Our current requirements for the use of the seal on herbal tea products allow more companies to embark on the sustainability journey. As the available supply grows, we will gradually increase the minimum percentage to the 90 percent threshold. Starting in 2022, the threshold for herbal tea will be raised to 50 percent.
When it comes to palm oil, products must contain at least 30 percent certified palm oil to use our seal, or, in the case of mass balance supply chains, 100 percent of the equivalent certified volume must be purchased from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. As with herbal teas, the main reason for this lower threshold is the limited supply of Rainforest Alliance Certified palm oil. This is also one of the main reason why we decided to phase out our palm certification and adopt a new approach to palm sustainability.
Whenever the percentage of certified content is below 90 percent, the percentage must be clearly indicated on product packaging. In this way consumers can easily see what percentage of certified content is in their favorite seal-bearing products.