According to the answers provided in the Transition Tool, the following scenario applies to your company:
- You do not have a valid Rainforest Alliance Chain of Custody certificate/endorsement or a valid UTZ Chain of Custody certificate or audit exempt license, but you have been using the Rainforest Alliance traceability platforms
If the above correctly describes your company, please take the following steps to transition to the Rainforest Alliance 2020 Certification Program. If not, please go back and fill out the transition tool again.
Question 1: What is the deadline to obtain a transition certificate?
Step 1: You need to obtain your Transition Certificate before June 30, 2022.
We recommend that you register at least 6 months before this deadline and give yourself enough time to obtain a transition certificate as per the steps below.
Question 2: How can you obtain a transition certificate?
Step 2.1: Register for the Rainforest Alliance 2020 Certification Program:
The Rainforest Alliance has sent the invitation email to register for the new Certification Program on the new Rainforest Alliance Certification Platform (RACP). Every company that would like to continue working with the Rainforest Alliance is required to register in the new platform and transition to the Rainforest Alliance 2020 Certification Program. If your company hasn’t received the email yet, you can register at this link. If you have already registered and receive the email once again, please disregard the email.
Please note that this process is different from and in addition to the migration of traceability from the legacy GIP and Marketplace platforms to the MultiTrace traceability platform.
To have enough time to obtain your Rainforest Alliance certificate, please make sure to register at least 6 months before your deadline.
When registering, please make sure to indicate your company’s account IDs for the current UTZ and current Rainforest Alliance certification programs.
Please register one account if your company:
- Has several sites which are managed by a central/main site, within the same geographical region (See the link to geographical restrictions in the resources section below)
- Has both UTZ and current Rainforest Alliance certifications
- Works with more than one crop/commodity
- Has several roles in the supply chain (e.g., trading and manufacturing)
Please register multiple accounts if your company:
- Has sites based in different geographical regions. (See the link to geographical restrictions in the resources section below)
Step 2.2: Confirm your certification scope
After your account has been created and approved by the Rainforest Alliance, please fill in the certification scope your company wishes to apply for:
- The sites and subcontractors (if applicable) involved with the Rainforest Alliance Certified product (from the same geographical region)
- The commodities/crops you work with
- The supply chain roles and activities you carry out
After confirming your scope, you will receive:
- A list of requirements applicable to your sites and any subcontractors
- Your customized self-assessment template
- The Supply Chain Risk Assessment (SCRA) verification level applicable during the Transition Year for each site and subcontractors (if applicable). This determines which of your sites and subcontractors (if any) will need to undergo an audit with a third-party certification body and which ones can be endorsed directly by the Rainforest Alliance.
Step 2.3: Implement the Rainforest Alliance 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Standard
Once you have the list of applicable requirements, you can start assessing your compliance. Check the applicable requirements and implement anything that you are not already compliant with. Be sure to assess each of your sites and subcontractors, whether audited or endorsed, and all your commodities and roles. Make sure to be ready with your implementation plan and self-assessment before you sign an agreement with a Certification Body (if applicable) or before you start trading with new Rainforest Alliance volumes, whichever comes first. Please upload the self-assessment in the RACP during preparation for verification (audit and/or endorsement). In case you have multiple sites, one self-assessment will suffice.
Step 2.4: Obtain an endorsement (if applicable)
After you have uploaded the self-assessment, the Rainforest Alliance will review your certification profile and process your endorsement. Endorsements for compliant sites will be issued from Quarter 4, 2021 onwards.
Step 2.5: Hire a Certification Body (if applicable)
For all your sites that require an audit, please hire a Certification Body (CB) authorized to perform audits against the Rainforest Alliance 2020 Certification Program and your certification scope. See the list of authorized CBs under question 5: Where to find more information, below.
Step 2.6: Schedule a Transition Period Audit (if applicable)
Please ensure you have scheduled a Transition Period Audit at least 4 months before your certification deadline (as defined in Step 1 above).
After the Transition Period Audit is conducted, your company will have 12 weeks to close any non-conformities. The CB will then take a certification decision and submit your license request in the RACP for approval. The Rainforest Alliance may have additional questions for clarification before approving your license. Because of this, please keep in mind that you need to schedule your audit at least 4 months before your certification deadline.
Step 2.7: Obtain a Transition Certificate and license
After receiving a positive certification decision and obtaining an approval from the Rainforest Alliance, your company will be granted a Transition Certificate and license for using the RACP. The start date of your certificate and license will be the first audit date (if any of your sites are audited) or the endorsement date (if none of your sites are audited). The Transition Certificate and license are valid for 1 year (for example: if the first date of your audit falls on 15/08/2021, and your certificate and license are issued on 20/12/2021, they will expire on 15/08/2022). Your company will receive one CB-issued certificate for any audited sites and one endorsement certificate for any endorsed sites.
Step 2.8: Obtain a full-scale certificate
Before the Transition Certificate expires, your company will have to undergo either a certification audit or receive an endorsement against the full requirements of the new 2020 Certification Program. Please update your certification scope on the RACP and follow the steps indicated to obtain a full-scale certificate. To avoid any gaps in certification, please plan your full-scale audit at least 4 months before your Transition Certificate expires. Therefore, please update your profile in the RACP at least 6 months before the expiry date and make sure you start implementing any new requirements on time.
The certificate will be valid for 3 years, but yearly verification may be required, depending on your company’s specific role in the supply chain.
Question 3: What happens if you don’t obtain a Transition Certificate on time?
Please note that in case your company does not transition to the Rainforest Alliance 2020 Certification Program, or does not obtain the Transition Certificate on time you will not gain access to the traceability platform to perform transactions of new Rainforest Alliance Certified volumes.
Question 4: Where can you find more information?
- 2020 Certification Program
- How to get supply chain certified
- Binding Documents
- Transition Rules
- Transition FAQs
- Certification and Auditing Rules
- Sustainable Agriculture Standard Supply Chain Requirements
- FAQ Supply Chain Requirements
- Glossary of the Rainforest Alliance 2020 Certification Program
- Geographical regions
- Approved CBs
If you have further questions, please contact our Customer Success team.
We look forward to having you join the Rainforest Alliance 2020 Certification Program!