You have ambitious sustainability goals, but like many companies, you may not be sure what the next steps are to achieve them. Understanding your next steps requires knowing where risks and opportunities exist, and how to address them. This presents a challenge for many companies who lack the tools and resources to engage with their suppliers and spot critical risks. At the Rainforest Alliance, we employ a variety of tools and expertise to engage with your suppliers, map your risks, and build upon data driven insights to guide you in your next steps.
Assess your needs, identify risks, and engage with suppliers
Toknow what is happening on the ground and where action needs to be taken, the Rainforest Alliance combines its global expertise with cutting edge technologies. Our network of experts stationed across key sourcing regions monitor trends and alert staff to growing risks and opportunities. The information obtained by our experts and researchers allow us to develop risk maps, such our child labor and forced labor sector risk maps and deforestation risk maps.
In addition to risk maps that highlight key areas for attention, insights provided by Rainforest Alliance supplier engagement activities through platforms like SupplyShift allow us to better understand where to focus our attentions and what type of support suppliers need to address critical risks. Together, our risk maps and supplier engagement activities allow us and our partners to develop effective interventions. To see what it looks like when we tailor risk maps and supplier engagements for an individual company, we can look at the Rainforest Alliance partnership with Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE).
Service Spotlight: JDE Common Grounds
Co-developed by the Rainforest Alliance and JDE, the Common Grounds program outlines JDE’s commitments and accompanying sourcing principles. JDE is committed to working towards sourcing 100% of their coffee volume responsibly and reaching 500,000 smallholder farmers through Improvement Projects by 2025. The Rainforest Alliance provides JDE with data driven insights to help them select and invest in improvement projects that deliver impact.
Risk mapping and supplier engagement
Like many large roasters, JDE sources from a diversity of suppliers; these suppliers have a direct relationship with coffee producers which gives them insight into the sustainability risks coffee farmers face.The risk mapping process therefore starts with supplier engagement through the sending of self-assessment forms via the technology platform SupplyShift. Information gathered then helps identify supplier alignment against JDE’s sourcing principles as well as what risks suppliers perceive as the most pressing.
The risk mapping process is further contextualized by Origin Issue Assessments (OIAs): a compilation of research and analysis conducted by the Rainforest Alliance that identifies top environmental, economic, and social risks in a country.
The Rainforest Alliance then compares the risks flagged within the supplier assessments against those within the origin issue assessments to pinpoint which risks are the most critical, and where they are occurring. With this information in hand, JDE is better equipped to invest in and pursue improvement projects that address critical risks in sourcing origins.
“Rainforest Alliance expertise and support are critical to guiding JDE’s sourcing activities and interventions. Our long term partnership with the Rainforest Alliance allows us to pursue meaningful interventions that mitigate risk at the source and amplify our impact.”– Nadia Hoarau-Mwaura, Sustainability Director, Jacobs Douwe Egberts
Work with us
The Common Grounds program is only one example of the work we do to help companies bridge the communication gap between them and their suppliers. We have also worked with companies like Olam to promote forestry practices amongst the cocoa farmers it sources from.
Companies that work with us are leaders in their field. The Rainforest Alliance can help you create, design, and bring to life new projects that have far-reaching benefits. Together, we can raise the bar and make lasting change.