If you buy products like coffee or tea that have our favorite little green frog on the package, you may also see a note under the seal that says something like: “at least 30 percent certified content.” So what does that mean? Well, it means a lot to farmers and their families. Here’s why:
- We believe that we can increase the on-the-ground impacts of our work with farmers — bring more land under sustainable management, expand healthcare and other benefits to more workers, improve livelihoods in more communities and conserve more ecosystems — by engaging with companies of all sizes, including multi-nationals. It’s not easy for farmers to earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal, so the demand for certified crops like coffee and cocoa exceeds supply. Therefore, many companies that would like to sell 100 percent certified products just can’t yet. We are working as hard as we can with farmers to meet the growing demand, but when it comes to sustainable farming, we don’t want to take any shortcuts.
- The good news is that a large company that begins sourcing 30 percent of its supply from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms can have a huge positive impact on farmers’ lives and on the environment. (Do the math: 30 percent of 1,000 tons is substantially more than 100 percent of 100 tons.)
- We are committed to ensuring that companies scale up their commitments — regardless of how small or large they are at the outset. If a mainstream brand begins working with the Rainforest Alliance and our Sustainable Agriculture Network partners by sourcing, say, 40 percent of its coffee from certified farms, that brand must agree to source increasing quantities from certified farms as they become available.
- We believe in transparency. If a product includes less than 90 percent Rainforest Alliance Certified content, this must be clearly disclosed directly on-pack underneath the seal. Truth is, not all certification programs are as forthright. But we know how important it is for consumers to trust our little green frog. Allowing a business to market their commitment to using at least 30 percent of Rainforest Alliance Certified ingredients can increase demand for these sustainably grown goods — and that demand reverberates down the supply chain, from consumers right to farmers.
So don’t hesitate to reach for the frog seal. Your purchase of any product bearing the seal can have very real benefits for workers and wildlife around the globe.