The Rainforest Alliance and UTZ have recently merged in response to the critical challenges facing humanity: deforestation, climate change, systemic poverty, and social inequity. We are combining our respective strengths to build a future in which nature is protected and biodiversity flourishes, where farmers, workers, and communities prosper, and where sustainable land use and responsible business practices are the norm.

NOTE: The UTZ and Rainforest Alliance certification programs will run separately and in parallel until the publication of the new program in 2019. Companies can continue sourcing and labeling UTZ certified products at least until the publication of the new certification program in 2019. Farmers should continue following the UTZ standard as usual. Continue to arrange audits and register sales of certified ingredients following the same processes already in place.

The new Rainforest Alliance’s alliance

We are building an alliance to create a better future for people and nature by making responsible business the new normal.

We work at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests. By bringing diverse allies together, we are making deep-rooted change on some of our most pressing social and environmental issues. Together, we amplify the voices of farmers and forest communities, improve livelihoods, protect biodiversity, and help people mitigate and adapt to climate change in bold and effective ways.

Our alliance needs you, whoever you are and wherever you stand. By joining forces with producers, businesses, and consumers, we can transform our relationship with the land and forests we rely on. We can make that relationship work better for all.

Together, we can achieve our vision of a world where people and nature thrive in harmony.

Driving Impact in an Interdependent World

Our new strategy guides our partners—from smallholder farmers and forest communities to corporate and civil society allies across Latin America, Africa, and Asia—in accelerating their sustainability impact. We harness the power of the market to drive positive social, environmental, and economic change along entire supply chains, across landscapes that are critically important to our climate stability.

Data collectors on a cacao farm in Indonesia

Data collectors on a cacao farm in Indonesia

The farming and forest communities we work with are on the front lines of some of our most urgent challenges: climate change, deforestation, and rural poverty. We have learned that the best way to support frontline communities in responding to these challenges is through a comprehensive, 360-degree approach that centers sustainable livelihoods. For this reason, our strategy rests on a foundation of mutually reinforcing interventions designed to catalyze positive systemic change.

The Rainforest Alliance is an established global leader in sustainability certification—a powerful, proven tool for advancing best practices for land use, farm management, and the stewardship of natural resources. However, after decades of experience in the field and collaboration with allies along the supply chain, we know that that in order to drive deeper sustainability transformation, a certification system must be supported by an enabling environment. For this reason, we have reimagined certification as a journey of continuous improvement, fortified by advanced monitoring techniques and complementary interventions. Rather than a pass-fail model focused solely on compliance, our new certification model measures and incentivizes progress along the entire sustainability journey.

Collaboration is at the heart of our new certification model.  We work with local partners to design and implement creative strategies to protect vulnerable landscapes and restore degraded ones. These systems engage farmers themselves, farm groups and cooperatives, forest communities, and field experts from the region. They emphasize constructive monitoring through our new standard and assurance protocols. And they provide improved data analytics to assess the specific needs of farmers and make our interventions more effective over the long term. This performance-driven approach feeds back into our own journey of continuous improvement.

The sustainable production of non-timber forest products, such as Brazil nuts, provides indigenous communities with a sustainable livelihood.

Brazil nut processing plant, Peru.
Credits Mohsin Kazmi

In a small number of critically important landscapes, we integrate our new certification model with long-term conservation initiatives focused on sustainable rural enterprise development. These multifaceted initiatives are co-designed by our partner communities and include training, technical assistance, sustainable financing, public-private partnerships, and/or facilitation of market linkages, in addition to certification.

Finally, we use two supporting interventions to fortify our reimagined certification model and our landscape initiatives. Our advocacy team works to advance policy and implementation to advance our key sustainability priorities—as well as increased commitments and financial investment from both governments and companies. And we work with a very small number of company partners to develop tailored supply chain services that guide them on their own sustainability journeys.