In addition to these FAQs about our Assurance program, we also have specific FAQs for other areas within our 2020 Certification Program:
- FAQ: General Questions
- FAQ: Farm Requirements
- FAQ: Supply Chain Requirements
- FAQ: Transitioning to the new standard
FAQ: Assurance program
How will assurance work for the new standard?
An important aspect of our new certification program is the collection and verification of credible and useful data and compliance evidence. Through improved data collection the Rainforest Alliance will be able to focus assurance on issues that pose the greatest risk to the sustainability performance of individual certificate holders or in specific contexts.
The assurance system for the new standard follows the same model as for the current standards. It is based on independent third-party auditing through certification bodies. Certificate Holders will contract with the Rainforest Alliance approved certification bodies (CBs) to conduct their audits. Rainforest Alliance will provide Certificate Holders and CBs with a wider range of tools to assess their sustainability risks – such as technology and satellite images to detect environmental risks such as deforestation. Risk profile data collected from Certificate Holders at registration and mandatory risk analysis they undertake to comply with the standard requirements will allow auditors to focus their verification where there is the greatest risk. The Rainforest Alliance is also exploring assurance methods that depend less on audits that are carried out once per year, and more on regular interim verification moments during the agricultural production cycle.
To find out more about assurance in the new program, read the 2020 Certification and Auditing Rules.
Can certificate holders be decertified?
At the Transition Period Audit and the First Certification Audit, the Certificate Holders will not be certified if they do not comply with the core requirements. After the first year, Certificate Holders continuously need to comply with all core criteria and can be decertified if the core requirements are not met. Non-compliance with the applicable mandatory improvements can also be a reason to not grant a certificate, e.g. if the improvement level is not reached in due time or if the smart-meter data show a decline or stagnation in combination with absence of proof of actions undertaken.