Rainforest Alliance announces growth in certified coffee

by on March 24, 2010

In December, I reported on the 2008 global market statistics for Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC)  Bird-Friendly-certified coffee. For the 2007-2008 crop year, 2700 metric tons (6 million pounds) of Bird-Friendly certified coffee was produced. This certification is at the farm level, with 1400 farms and 5000 ha (12,000 acres) under certification.

At the time, comparable numbers for Rainforest Alliance (RA)-certified coffee for 2008 totaled 62,296 metric tons (137 million pounds), up from around 40,000 metric tons (89 million pounds) in late 2007. As of late 2007, RA had 200,000 ha of coffee on nearly 17,000 farms.

Farmers typically receive a price premium of 5 to 10 cents per pound of Bird-Friendly-certified coffee on top of the premium they receive from their organic certification (a requirement for Bird-Friendly certification).

RA has announced figures for 2009. Production of RA-certified coffee was 168,114 metric tones (370 million pounds), an increase of 36% from 2008.  As of December 2009, there were 27,610 Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farms around the world with 305,383 ha (754,618 acres) of land under certification (not all in production…this represents all the land on certified farms). I believe this represents 22 countries. Nine were added this year including India, Kenya, Uganda, the United States, Vietnam and Zambia.

Note that production volumes do not mean all the coffee grown under certified conditions was sold as such. Certified coffee may be blended with non-certified coffee, or the buyer may be interested in other attributes besides the certification and purchases it without intending to market it as certified, to give just a couple of examples.

However, RA indicated that their sales of certified beans grew by 41% in 2009, and that since 2003, the supply of RA-certified coffee has grown by an average of 64% annually with sales increasing by an average of 77% a year over the same period.

RA states that farmers receive an average price premium of $0.11 per pound of coffee.

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Revised on March 23, 2014

Posted in Certifications,Rainforest Alliance

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