What Does Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Mean?

Like our organizational logo, the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal features a frog for a very good reason.

Frogs are indicator species, meaning that they are a symbol of environmental health, and they are found on every continent except Antarctica. Our green frog certification seal indicates that a farm, forest, or tourism enterprise has been audited to meet standards that require environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Thousands of products bearing the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal are found on shelves, in advertisements, and websites around the world.

We are currently developing a new certification program, following our 2018 merger with UTZ (a leading certification program for coffee, tea, cocoa and hazelnuts). As part of this, we have begun a process to refresh and modernize our green frog seal, while capitalizing on the existing strong consumer recognition and brand value. More information will be shared in the coming months.

For information on how to become certified, how to source products from certified farms or forestry operations, or the development of our new certification program, please visit our business website.

Agriculture

In order to become certified, farms must meet criteria of the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard. The Standard encompasses all three pillars of sustainability—social, economic, and environmental. Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms are audited regularly to verify that farmers are complying with the Standard’s comprehensive requirements, which require continual improvement on the journey to sustainable agriculture. The Standard is built on these important principles of sustainable farming:

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Improved livelihoods and human well-being
  • Natural resource conservation
  • Effective planning and farm management systems

For more information on the Sustainable Agriculture Standard and how Rainforest Alliance certification benefits communities, forests, and wildlife, read the Rainforest Alliance Impacts Report. Visit our business website for more information about what it means to be a Rainforest Alliance Certified farm.

BRINGING TOGETHER THE RAINFOREST ALLIANCE AND UTZ

We are currently developing a new agriculture certification program, following our 2018 merger with UTZ (a leading certification program for coffee, tea, cocoa and hazelnuts). As part of this, we have begun a process to refresh and modernize our green frog seal, while capitalizing on the existing strong consumer recognition and brand value. More information will be shared in the coming months.

To allow a smoother transition to our new certification program, from July 1, 2019, companies can source Rainforest Alliance or UTZ Certified ingredients (or a mixture of both) and then use either the Rainforest Alliance Seal or UTZ label on their packaging. All the same labeling rules still apply. Companies can find more information about what they need to do here.

Our two existing certification schemes are similar in terms of objectives and impact, so you can still be that companies using the UTZ logo or the Rainforest Alliance seal have sourced ingredients from farms audited to meet social, environmental and economic standards.

Visit our business website for more information about the transition to our new certification program.

Forestry

The Rainforest Alliance is one of the founding members of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), the largest sustainable forestry standard setter in the world. Products that bear the FSC mark and the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal are sourced from forests that:

  • Protect endangered species and forest areas of high conservation value
  • Set aside a portion of land as forest reserve
  • Provide workers with decent wages and protect their ability to organize
  • Follow FSC guidelines that determine how, when, and where timber and non-timber forest products are harvested
  • Respect the rights of local communities and indigenous people

You can find more information about our work to conserve forests here. For more information on what it means when you see the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal on forestry products, visit our business website

As of October 1, 2018, the Rainforest Alliance transitioned its certification business, including all related services, staff, and clients to its long-time partner, Nature Economy and People Connected (NEPCon). Learn more about NEPCon’s FSC certification program.

Tourism

Proprietors of tourism businesses, including lodging services and inbound tour operators, who demonstrate they are minimizing their environmental footprint and supporting workers, local cultures, and surrounding communities may also be eligible for using the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. Third-party audits and certification by NEPCon confirm these businesses meet tourism criteria, which are recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. The criteria require:

  • Protection of nearby ecosystems
  • Wise use of natural resources
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Benefits to the social and cultural development of surrounding communities

See our listing of Rainforest Alliance Certified hotels and tour operators and plan your sustainable getaway!

Ramon nut, a sustainable superfood - photo by Sergio Izquierdo

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