Update September 1: Please note that the public standard consultation has closed.
As the launch of the new 2020 Rainforest Alliance certification program draws nearer, we are working hard to develop a program that combines the strengths of both UTZ and Rainforest Alliance certification, while also thinking bigger to ensure we are taking a bold, performance-driven approach. The next phase of this process is our second round of public consultation. We invite stakeholders and partners of the Rainforest Alliance to share their views and expertise. Take part in the second consultation by completing our survey by August 31.
In December 2018, we held the first round of public consultation for the new 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Standard, which outlines the requirements for farmers. This time around, we are opening up feedback for both the Sustainable Agriculture Standard and the new Chain of Custody Standard, the standard for supply chain actors.
Revised and updated Sustainable Agriculture Standard
The extensive and invaluable feedback we received during the first consultation round has already gone a long way in improving the new Sustainable Agriculture Standard. We enhanced the approach to recognizing improvement and many topics have been clarified or refined.
For example, to make the program as effective as possible we have two versions of the standard, one for smallholders and one for medium/large farms. This allows us to set requirements targeted to the different needs and situations of these very different types of farm. In the consultation round, we learned that our definition of a smallholder farmer was too limited given the vast differences that exist between Rainforest Alliance production regions. Therefore, we refined it and will now base the definition primarily on the type of labor used. Smallholders in the new standard are specified as farms where most of the work is done by the family, whereas medium/large farms are those that hire workers from outside the household. A summary of the feedback and how it was processed is available on our website.
Why it’s key to voice your opinion
We want to make the biggest impact possible with the 2020 Certification Program. To do that, transparency and feedback from our many stakeholders and partner companies are key. To ensure a truly multi-stakeholder system, we want to involve as many actors as possible, inviting every voice and opinion to be heard. Providing your input not only creates a stronger certification program, but it can help make your company’s sustainability efforts more credible. Instead of simply adopting a certification, you’re taking part in creating it. This is the chance to help define what it means to be Rainforest Alliance Certified™ and what that means for the claims you can make going forward. As noted, the standard for supply chain actors is being shared for external consultation for the first time, making it even more valuable for your business to share your views.
New in the Chain of Custody: social and environmental criteria
When reviewing the new Chain of Custody Standard, it’s important to keep a few key changes from the previous UTZ and Rainforest Alliance certifications in mind. One of these is the introduction of human rights and environmental criteria. Examples include requirements around on how to handle wastewater and criteria for working conditions and labor protection that cover wages, contracts, discrimination, and workplace harassment.
Other new topics where we would particularly value your input are context-specific risk assessment and a mandatory premium for farmers. The latter is an important step towards providing accountability within the supply chain for better prices paid to farmers for certified crops.
Have your say before August 31
Now that you have an idea of what to expect, we encourage you to review the new standards and share your feedback by filling out the survey on the Chain of Custody and the Sustainable Agriculture Standard before August 31, 2019. The survey is shorter in this second consultation round, to ensure you can give your feedback more easily.
To make sure we can gather input from as many of our stakeholders as possible, translated versions of the documents and consultation surveys are available six additional languages. The Sustainable Agriculture Standard is also available in French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Bahasa. The Chain of Custody is also available in French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.
We look forward to your insights and suggestions. For more information, head to the 2020 Certification program page.
Thank you for your time and support.