In January 2018, the Rainforest Alliance merged with UTZ. We joined forces because we know that together we can have a greater impact and be a better partner to the many stakeholders we work with.
In 2019, we will publish a single, new agriculture certification program that builds on the best of both existing programs. As a first step, we adopted in July 2018 the Terms of Reference for the new sustainable agriculture standard. Summarized, our new sustainable agriculture standard will be designed to maximize positive social, environmental, and economic impact, while offering farmers an enhanced framework to improve their livelihoods while protecting the landscapes where they live and work.
On December 3, 2018, we launched the first round of public consultation for the new standard, which closed on February 28, 2019. This public consultation process was an essential step to creating a stronger approach to certification—one that calls for deeper engagement and greater transparency along the entire supply chain.
The new program will integrate new technologies with proven, effective systems. In addition to a new standard, it will include a new chain of custody, a new fee structure, and a new labeling policy for companies sourcing certified products. Our new program will emphasize outcomes and adaptability to local contexts, organizational structures, and activities.
In the below overview, you will find the key steps in the standard-setting process, including timelines and opportunities for giving input to the standard.
The consultation process for the new standard will include online consultations and regional workshops. Details on dates and venues will be shared with you in due time.
If you are interested in how decisions are made for the standard development, please look at our Rainforest Alliance Standard Development Procedure [PDF]. It explains in detail the timelines and the different actors and their responsibilities and includes a separate section on the role and composition of the Rainforest Alliance Standards Committee.
If you would like to stay informed on the progress of our new certification program, please subscribe to our mailing list.