What is the impact of sourcing more sustainably through the Rainforest Alliance certification program? It’s a question that we (and probably our partner companies, too) are often asked. Of course, we could list dozens of benefits for many stakeholders. But we like to keep things simple. Below, we summarize the impact of the Rainforest Alliance Certification, focusing on the 3Ps – people, planet, profit.
The 3Ps provide a great framework for talking about sustainability. Why? Because they demonstrate the importance of taking a holistic approach, balancing social, environmental and economic considerations. Partner companies can use the 3Ps to explain why they have chosen to work with the Rainforest Alliance and to show employees and customers what it means in terms of concrete benefits for farmers, workers, their families and the planet.
The rights and well-being of people are key to the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard on which certification is based. Human rights must be respected on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, to make them better and safer places on which to live and work. Farmers are required to provide decent housing for workers, and access to clean drinking water, sanitation and healthcare. On a certified farm, workers must wear the right protective clothing when working with chemicals. The Rainforest Alliance addresses child and forced labor and promotes gender equality and non-discrimination. Certified farms work towards better livelihoods for farmers and workers.
Farmers in the Rainforest Alliance certification program use land, water and energy carefully, protecting natural resources and the environment in which they live and work. They help to protect the planet by using fewer artificial fertilizers and pesticides, preventing pollution and carefully managing waste. Farmers learn to protect forested and protected areas, which in turn helps support biodiversity of plants and animals. They are trained to use climate-smart farming techniques which helps them adapt and become more resilient to the effects of a changing climate.
The Rainforest Alliance farming methods result in better quality crops and higher yields–with lower costs–helping create long-term increased productivity and improved incomes. Farmers can also negotiate a better price for their products. Better prices with lower costs mean higher profits; and higher profits contribute to a better quality of life and more opportunity to invest for the long term. That’s good for farmers, their families and their communities.
The impact at a glance
With this infographic (also available in German, French and Japanese), it is easier to summarize the impact of Rainforest Alliance certification. We encourage you to use the infographic or the text of this article to help explain to your consumers and colleagues-or other stakeholders-how sourcing Rainforest Alliance Certified products can make a meaningful difference.
A similar infographic on UTZ certification is also available.
Photo credit: Sydelle Willow Smith