The Rainforest Alliance has unveiled its 2020 Certification Program after years of hard work and collaboration.
The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization working at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests to make responsible business the new normal.
The NGO is building an alliance to protect forests, improve the livelihoods of farmers and forest communities, promote their human rights, and help them mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis.
Mr. Kwame Osei who is Country Director for Rainforest Alliance Ghana announced in an interview with this reporter on Ghana’s Agricultural Sector and tailored supply chain services.
According to him the broader strategy of RA in addition to Reimagining Certification includes three other interventions; Landscapes and Communities, Advocacy, and Tailored Supply Chain Services. These interventions are ‘thousands of companies and even more millions of consumers through several products in more than 130 countries around the world'.
Even before the merger, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ have already helped many of the world’s largest coffee brands achieve baseline certification towards environmental, social and economic sustainability in their supply streams.
Rainforest Alliance currently estimates that more than 400,000 coffee farmers with more than 1 million hectares of farmland are currently engaged in Rainforest Alliance certification.
Mr. Osei says Rainforest Alliance 2020 Certification Program defines their long-term vision for the future, and the path required to get us there.
The Country Director explains that the new standard, assurance system and related data and technology systems are designed to deliver more value to the many people and businesses around the world that use Rainforest Alliance certification as an essential tool to support sustainable agricultural production and supply chains.
“As experts in sustainable agriculture, we recognize that now is the time to “Reimagine certification” as we know it” he added.
He adds that Reimagining Certification is part of Rainforest Alliance’s wider strategy to drive sustainability at scale in the sectors in which they operate through interconnected interventions supporting certification, tailored supply chain services, landscapes and communities and advocacy.
He indicated that beginning July 2021, certificate holders at the farm level will only be required to comply with the core requirements of the 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Standard.
He explains that after July 1, 2022, in their first full-scale certification audit, certificate holders at the farm level will be audited against the full set of applicable farm requirements.
“following successful audits, certificate holders will receive a transition certificate that is valid for one year; this will give more time to implement the full set of 2020 standard requirements” he said.
He says that this year will be counted as the first year of the full-scale three-year certification cycle, which requires annual surveillance audits.
He explains that their new program builds on 30 years of their certification?experience and incorporates input from more than 1,000 people in nearly 50 countries, representing over 200 organizations, from farmers, companies and NGOs to governments and research institutes.
“We want to say thank you to all members of our alliance who have contributed to this key step on our journey to a more sustainable world,” he said.