The Rainforest Alliance is a non-governmental organization (NGO) working to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.
This certification indicates that a farm, forest, or tourism enterprise has been audited to meet standards that require environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
The forestry program encourages environmentally and socially responsible management of forests.
The agriculture program includes training programs for farmers and the certification of farms to conserve ecosystems, protect biodiversity and waterways, conserve forests, reduce agrochemical use, and safeguard the well-being of workers and local communities.
The Rainforest Alliance requires that 50% of criteria under a certain principle (group of criteria) be achieved, and 80% overall. Several of these criteria are “critical” and must be complied with for a farm to earn certification.
However, it is worth noting that the Rainforest Alliance has been criticized for being “too easy to get”. Also, critics claim the certification requires plantation owners to pay laborers the national minimum wage, which can be very low in some countries. Finally, the organization has been criticized for allowing the use of the seal on products containing a minimum of 30% of certified content only, which was damaging for its credibility.
Hopefully this was useful information, more to come on other eco labels 😉