Share your input on the standards for Rainforest Alliance certification

Until 11 March, the Sustainable Agriculture Standards for Rainforest Alliance certification are open for public consultation. The new standards will be published later this year and be applied to the over 850 farms in 44 countries where the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) and Rainforest Alliance operate.

All of the information and documents you need to participate are available here: http://publicconsultation.sanstandards.org/. The SAN has developed a very user-friendly process for submitting feedback.

Through periodic revision, which is a requirement of ISEAL's Standard-Setting Code, the SAN aims to ensure that its standards address the needs of all sectors and most importantly serve as an environmental and social tool to promote productive agriculture and cattle systems, biodiversity conservation and sustainable human development. In addition to these comprehensive revisions and overhauls, The SAN is constantly working to update and improve the standard for farms, through the development of new modules for livestock, adaptation and mitigation of climate change, smallholder groups and chain of custody, as well as, important local indicators for the standards.

With this consultation in particular, the SAN is looking to adapt the standards for sustainable agriculture to the small producer scenario - representing more than 90 % of certified farms in its system - as well as, insert additional modules in the standard, work more on innovative elements and ease of interpretation and scoring criteria during certification audits.

The results of the public consultation process will define the standards to be applied to the 850 farms and 727 producer groups currently certified in 44 countries that cover almost 3 million hectares and 70 products as diverse as cocoa, coffee, tea, banana, pineapple, cattle, oil palm, rice, jatropha, citrus, cinnamon, avocado, flowers, grapes, macadamia, mango, sugarcane or pepper.

The new standard will be published in 2014, after having the approval of the International Standards Committee and the SAN General Assembly (the decision-making bodies of the SAN in the development of standards) and shall be binding for audits approximately one year after.

Results of the first consultation

Over one thousand people took part in the 1st round of consultation and issued more than 10,000 comments on the standard. The SAN standards’ principles that received the most attention were fair working conditions, integrated crop management and ecosystem conservation. The SAN received and incorporated in its standard draft the multiple opinions about new requirements and critical criteria, difficulties of measurement and the compatibility of the standard with the local legislation in countries with certified production.

For more information and to participate, click here