Food & Farming

Conserving Forests and Improving Livelihoods

What's at Stake

Agriculture drives 80 percent of tropical deforestation and billions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Maximizing harvests on existing cropland is critical to a global food security. The race to feed the world's growing population (projected to be 9.8 billion by 2050), while also addressing the impacts of climate change on farms, begins now.

Man in slashed and burned landscape in MBR

A man stands amidst a slashed-and-burnt landscape that was once lush forest. Laguna Del Tigre, Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala

Photo credit: David Dudenhoefer

Food vs. Forests

Thriving farmers and healthy forests go hand-in-hand. Subsistence farming and commercial farming combined are responsible for more than 80 percent of tropical deforestation. As the world's population increases, so does the demand for food—and with it, the pressure to raze forests for more farmland. Making current cropland more productive is one of the most direct ways to improve farmer livelihoods and halt deforestation.

A cocoa farmer in Peru

Juan Pinchi harvests cocoa on his farm in Juanjui, Peru

Cocoa That's Good for Forests

Most of the world’s cocoa is grown by farmers on small plots of land throughout West Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. Economic hardship and climate change pose urgent challenges for the world's 5 million smallholder cocoa farmers. Efficient and sustainable farm management is key to stopping the destructive cycle of rural poverty, deforestation, and climate change.

Our Work

Our Work: Food & Farming

The Rainforest Alliance works with the farmers on the front lines of the global movement to build food security through sustainable agriculture. We train farmers in some of the world's most vulnerable landscapes to farm in a way that boost crop yields, conserves forests, protects streams and rivers, and nurtures soil health.

A suspension bridge in a tropical forest in Southeast Asia

The Rainforest Alliance - UTZ Merger

The Rainforest Alliance has merged with UTZ, a Netherlands-based program and label for sustainable farming. We've joined forces to rejuvenate agricultural landscapes, conserve forests, foster sustainable livelihoods, and build climate resilience; transform business practices and drive supply chain innovation; and engage consumers in positive change.

Learn more about how we are working to achieve our mission.
Our Impact

Our Impact

The Rainforest Alliance trains farmers around the world to conserve forests, boost the productivity of the land, and support the well-being of their communities. Thanks to these farmers, 8.6 million acres (3.5 million hectares) of agricultural land are being managed sustainably—bringing us closer to an Earth rebalanced.

farms using our methods

7 million hectares

of farmland certified against our sustainability standards

Data accurate as of December 2018. Includes both Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certified farms. Total calculated using estimates of how many farms are certified by both programs.

Transforming Our Relationship to the Land

The farmers we work with are managing millions of acres of agricultural land sustainably. Their efforts to foster the health of the forests, rivers, and streams around their farms is vital to the global movement to rebalance the Earth.

people trained in earth-friendly land management practices

1.3 million farmers

trained in best management practices

Data accurate as of December 31, 2016.

The Farmers in Our Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance has trained 1.3 million farmers around the world in agricultural methods that conserve forests, cultivate soil health, protect waterways, and improve livelihoods.

Learn more ways we are achieving real results.
Get Involved

Get Involved

Join us to help rebalance the earth.

Sumatran tiger - photo by Evan Bowen-Jones, Fauna & Flora International

Did you know cinnamon is harvested once every 10-15 years? Or that cinnamon farmers share land with endangered Sumatran tigers?

Goat on caffeine

We learned about coffee from goats? Why is shade-grown coffee superior? Learn about coffee-growing communities around the world.

Ramon nut, a sustainable superfood - photo by Sergio Izquierdo

How will we feed the 9.8 billion people who will share Earth in 2050?