Coffee Certifications – Rainforest Alliance Certified

Posted on: January 2nd, 2013 by admin No Comments

Many coffee farms are in areas regarded as high priorities for conservation. The Rainforest Alliance and its partner groups in the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) have demonstrated that traditional, forested coffee farms are havens for wildlife.

Rainforest Alliance certification aims to maintain biodiversity in the production areas, while at the same time striving for sustainable living conditions for farmers, plantation workers and the local population. The certification also guarantees that farmers are assisted with improved farm management, negotiation leverage and access to premium markets; farm workers are treated with respect, paid fair wages, are properly equipped and given access to education and medical care.

By implementing the SAN sustainable farm-management system, farmers can control costs, gain efficiencies and improve crop quality.

There are no required criteria for shade management, but they are included in optional criteria; these shade criteria are not as strict as Bird-Friendly standards. Therefore it is important to note that Rainforest Alliance-certified coffee may not be shade grown. There is no organic requirement.

Examine the seal on the package carefully. Rainforest Alliance allows use of the seal on coffee that contains only 30% certified beans. The proportion should be indicated.

Fees to producers include an annual fee based on the size of the certified area, as well as annual auditing fees.

There is no minimum price set, but producers can use the certification to negotiate a better price for their coffee, generally an additional 5-10% per-pound.