Rainforest Alliance

Do not use Rainforest Alliance certification as an indication that coffee was shade-grown or even particularly eco-friendly. And the new proposed rules will make it even less likely.

Revised on May 18, 2019

Rainforest Alliance and UTZ (Certified), two major certifiers of coffee and other products, are merging.

Revised on December 21, 2018

A new standard for Rainforest Alliance certification has been issued. Here, the changes to the “shade” criteria are explained.

Revised on September 15, 2018

Studies in the Rainforest Alliance impacts reports hint at why some criteria in the proposed standard may be weaker.

Revised on December 11, 2018

The Rainforest Alliance impacts report says 82% of coffee farms comply with current shade requirements. Yet they have said that most farms do not fully implement these requirements, and that’s why they proposed weakening this requirement. What’s going on?

Revised on December 11, 2018

An update on the upcoming revision of the Rainforest Alliance standard.

Revised on December 11, 2018

[Updates: Since this post, the standard revision, and the merger with UTZ, many of the links in this post have been eliminated; I’ve replaced them with archived links that will […]

Revised on September 15, 2018

An important and potentially crippling change is being proposed for the eco-standards applied to coffee for Rainforest Alliance certification.

Revised on December 8, 2018

Rainforest Alliance recently announced the release of an important study outlining an overlooked benefit for farmers of achieving certification: the ability to get larger and more frequent small loans.

Revised on March 23, 2014

Results of the spring 2013 Cupping for Quality competition for Rainforest Alliance certified coffees, highlighting the linkage between sustainable farm management practices and cup quality.

Revised on December 11, 2018

Recent actions by the new owners of Caribou Coffee (Joh. A. Benckiser Group, a private German holding company), seem to indicate a move towards away from sustainably-sourced and 100%-certified coffees. Just what I was afraid of.

Revised on December 10, 2018

McDonald’s buys more eco-certified coffee and has a stronger commitment to coffee sustainability than most big coffee companies.

Revised on March 1, 2015

Results of the December 2012 Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality competition.

Revised on November 27, 2018

Rainforest Alliance requires companies using their seal for less-than-90% certified content to increase that percentage over time.

Revised on May 31, 2019

Winners of the April 2012 competition covering Latin America, India, and Ethiopia.

Revised on December 11, 2018