Rural Prosperity, Responsible Business

What's at Stake

Across the tropics, farming and forest communities face a daily struggle to cover life’s basic needs. Breaking the cycle of rural poverty—and tackling the ensuing impacts for people and nature—is critical for a more sustainable future for us all.

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

Rural Poverty, Deforestation, and Human Rights

Rural poverty is at the root of many of our most pressing global challenges, from child labor and poor working conditions to deforestation for agricultural expansion. Economic desperation exacerbates these complex issues, which are deeply embedded in global supply chains. The result is a vicious cycle of environmental destruction and human suffering.

Our Work

Our Work: Livelihoods

The Rainforest Alliance partners with frontline communities to build thriving rural economies rooted in more sustainable growing practices and forest stewardship. We also promote responsible business practices to ensure that companies recognize and reward sustainability transformation—in the field as well as the boardroom.

Family of workers from Kyagalanyi Coffee Limited in Uganda

Sustainability standards help promote wages that let workers and their families afford a decent standard of living.

Photo credit: Kyagalanyi Coffee Limited

Improving Rural Livelihoods

Improving sustainable livelihood opportunities for smallholder farmers and forest communities is the most effective way to lift rural people out of poverty—and nourish a global population expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. The cultivation of rural prosperity is core to our vision of a world where people and nature thrive in harmony.

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

Our Impact

Our work to cultivate rural prosperity brings real, measurable benefits for farmers, forest communities and Indigenous peoples around the world.

amount earned by indigenous and forest communities

US$63 Million

earned by our Maya Biosphere Reserve community partners from 2013-2020. 

2013-2020 earnings from 111 small and medium-sized forest-based businesses in the community concessions of Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve.

Building a Sustainable Forest Economy

The Rainforest Alliance has been working with the community forestry concessions in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve since 1999—helping to develop thriving forest enterprises based on the responsible harvesting and processing of non-timber forest products (such as nuts and palm fronds), in addition to timber for export, according to the rigorous standard of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

people trained in earth-friendly land management practices

2.3 Million+ Certified Farmers

following our standards

Data accurate as of December 2020. Includes both Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified farmers. Total calculated using estimates of how many farmers have achieved both standards on their certified lands.

Improving Farmer Incomes

In more than 70 countries, we offer training to farmers in more sustainable practices that boost climate resilience, conserve biodiversity, and promote worker wellbeing—while also helping to increase productivity and improve their incomes.

Learn more ways we are achieving real results.
Get Involved

Get Involved

Join us to create a better future for people and nature.

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?