Interested in purchasing products from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms? The first step is to get the Rainforest Alliance Chain of Custody certification. This will allow your company to easily source and sell products with the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal. It will help you meet the rising demand for more sustainable products. You’ll be able to access new markets, reduce your risks, and get support at the same time.
What is chain of custody certification?
Chain of Custody certification tracks a product from a certified farm through every step of the process. It give you the the assurance you need that your products’ claims are accurate. With it, you can have full confidence in your supply chain.
How do I get chain of custody certification?
- To begin, register in Marketplace, our traceability and trademark portal. After registering, you’ll receive a Marketplace password and information on next steps.
- Next, Rainforest Alliance will determine your eligibility. Eligible companies complete a Chain of Custody Risk Assessment (CRA). The CRA is a series of questions about your operations. It helps us assess your risk. For example, companies that source exclusively Rainforest Alliance Certified products often score as lower risk. While companies that mix certified and non-certified products generally score as higher risk.
- After you return the CRA to us, we’ll review it. We also compare your CRA with records of your company’s compliance with traceability, trademarks, and licensing requirements. Note: Once you have submitted the CRA and completed payment, you may start handling or selling Rainforest Alliance Certified products as long as you are in compliance with Rainforest Alliance traceability and trademark guidelines. This is also stated in section 2.2c of the COC policy.
- Next, we send you the results. This report will give you instructions for next steps.
- If your company is very low risk and does not require an audit, you will have to complete a CRA renewal each year to ensure your company remains in the very low risk category. Visit our step by step guide on how to complete a CRA renewal for your company (in English).
- Companies that get a “very low risk” result receive the Chain of Custody Endorsement. Congratulations! Your endorsement is valid for three years.
- For companies rated low, medium, or high risks, we’ll give you information on how to contact a Rainforest Alliance authorized certification body. This is your next step.
- Once your risk category has been set, review the corresponding audit schedule below.
- If an audit is needed, find an authorized Rainforest Alliance certification body in your area. This body can audit your supply chain. They will see if you are complying with the Rainforest Alliance Chain of Custody Standard and Policy. They will also review your company’s systems. If needed, they will look at trademarks and multi-site criteria.
- The certification body you choose can provide a schedule and budget for your audit.
- After your audit, the certification body gives you the results. If the results are positive, you’ll finalize any last payments and agreements. Your company is then issued a Chain of Custody certification.
- Chain of Custody certified companies need to maintain compliance with our Chain of Custody Certification Standard.
Chain of custody certification audit schedule
This schedule covers the three-year Chain of Custody certification cycle.
|Risk Category||Certification Audit||1st Annual Audit||2nd Annual |
|Very low risk||No audit|
|Low risk||On-site audit||No audit||No audit|
|Medium risk||On-site audit||Desk audit||No audit|
|High risk||On-site audit||On-site audit||Desk audit|
Rainforest Alliance and UTZ mutual recognition
We have mutual recognition for the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Chain of Custody certifications. This means that you can source both Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certified products with only one annual audit. To learn more, visit our mutual recognition guidelines.
Want to learn more? You can read the Chain of Custody certification binding documents in our Resource Library.
Questions? Please email our team.