Efficient governance and transparency are central to the success of the Rainforest Alliance sustainable agriculture certification program. We work with many different individuals and entities around the world to ensure that our activities have the greatest possible positive impact.
This collaborative approach to sustainable agriculture requires a participatory, multi-stakeholder decision-making process—one that enables credible consensus building and encourages democratic, inclusive, and transparent discussions. We welcome input from diverse parties, ranging from small agricultural producers and civil society organizations, to representatives of governments and agroindustry.
The Rainforest Alliance is a founding member of the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance (ISEAL), an organization established to strengthen the integrity of social and environmental certification systems and whose members are international standard-setting, certification, and accreditation organizations. Rainforest Alliance is committed to ISEAL’s Code of Ethics and supports the ten ISEAL Credibility Principles, which capture what is essential for a sustainability standards system to deliver positive impact. The Rainforest Alliance also applies the principles of ISEAL’s codes of good practice: the Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards (Standard-Setting Code); the Code of Good Practice for Assessing the Impacts of Social and Environmental Standards (Impacts Code); and the Code of Good Practice for Assuring Compliance with Social and Environmental Standards (the Assurance Code).
When the Rainforest Alliance needs to make changes to its certification program, it does so according to an established decision-making framework. This framework identifies which key internal and external stakeholders provide inputs, approve, perform, and decide on decisions regarding standards, policies, rules, the assurance system, appeals and other decisions. The stakeholders can be Rainforest Alliance staff, certification bodies, and external experts. If changes are a substantive deviation from the current systems, the Rainforest Alliance Leadership Team members are involved in the ultimate decision-making process, taking into consideration feedback from internal and external sources.
The Rainforest Alliance certification program’s steering committee, consisting of senior staff from different departments, ensures effective coordination, information sharing, and planning related to the global sustainable agriculture certification program.