Rainforest Alliance

An alliance of farmers, forest communities, companies, and consumers committed to creating a world where people and nature thrive in harmony.

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Description

New York, NY – EIN 133377893 rainforest-alliance.org

The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit working at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests to make responsible business the new normal. We are building an alliance to protect forests, improve the livelihoods of farmers and forest communities, promote their human rights, and help them mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis.

We are an alliance of farmers, forest communities, companies, and consumers committed to creating a world where people and nature thrive in harmony. By bringing diverse allies together, we are making deep-rooted change on some of the most pressing social and environmental issues of our time. We’re implementing proven and scalable solutions on the ground while testing innovative ways to drive change.

Wiki

Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Alliance
RainforestAllianceCert.svg
The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal
Formation1987; 33 years ago (1987)
FounderDaniel Katz
TypeNGO
HeadquartersNew York City
Chairman
Daniel Katz
The Rainforest Alliance certification logo on a bottle of ice tea

The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) based in New York City and Amsterdam, with operations in more than 60 countries. It was founded in 1987 by Daniel Katz, who serves as the Chair of the board of directors. Its main work is the provision of an environmental certification on sustainable forestry and agriculture and tourism. Its certificate seal gives information to consumers about business practices, based on certain standards they set.[1]

They are a product-oriented multistakeholder governance group combining the interests of companies, farmers, foresters, communities, and consumers to produce sustainable and harmonious goods and services.[2]

Merger with UTZ

In June 2017, the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ announced the intention to merge,[3] and in January 2018 the merger was legally closed and completed. The organizations merged in recognition of their similar work to address deforestation, climate change, systemic poverty, and social inequity. The merged organization, going by the name the Rainforest Alliance, points to the increased size and strength of their combined expertise to achieve a scale of impact necessary to meet these challenges effectively.[4]

The Rainforest Alliance's work continues in Latin America, Africa, and South and Southeast Asia.

The new Rainforest Alliance plans to release a new certification standard in 2019, building upon the existing Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard and the UTZ Certification Standard. The UTZ and Rainforest Alliance certification programs are running separately and in parallel until the publication of the new program in 2020.[5] Additionally, releasing one standard will help the 182,000 cocoa, coffee, and tea farmers currently certified under both standards, avoiding a double administrative load of working with two standards and certification systems.[6]

The two certification programs will continue to operate in parallel, and farms will continue to be either Rainforest Alliance or UTZ certified until the release of the new standard in 2020.

Rainforest Alliance programs

A woman picks coffee on the slopes of the Rainforest Alliance Certified cooperative Ciudad Barrios in El Salvador.

Sustainable forestry certification

The Rainforest Alliance launched the world’s first sustainable forestry certification program in 1989 to encourage market-driven and environmentally and socially responsible management of forests, tree farms, and forest resources. As of October 1, 2018, the Rainforest Alliance transitioned its certification business, including all related services, personnel and clients, to Nature Economy and People Connected (NEPCon), a non-profit organization based in Copenhagen, Denmark, with a global network. NEPCon has been a member of the FSC© since 1996.

Sustainable agriculture certification

The Rainforest Alliance's sustainable agriculture program includes training programs for farmers and the certification of small, medium and large farms that produce more than 100 different crops, including avocado, cattle, cinnamon, coffee, palm oil, and potatoes, as well as tea, cocoa, and bananas. In recent years, the Rainforest Alliance has greatly expanded its work with smallholders, who now account for 75% of the farms (more than 783,000 farmers in all) certified by the organization. To obtain certification, farms must meet the Sustainable Agriculture Standard, which is designed 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 encourages businesses and consumers to support sustainable agriculture by sourcing or choosing products grown on certified farms. More than 7 million hectares of farmland—are being managed sustainably under Rainforest Alliance certification, as of 2018.[7]

Crop standards and criteria

The organization requires that 50% of criteria under a certain principle (group of criteria) be achieved, and 80% overall.[8] Several of these criteria are "critical" and must be complied with for a farm to earn certification. They include an ecosystem conservation program, protection of wild animals and waterways, the prohibition of discrimination in work and hiring practices, the prohibition of contracting children under the age of 15, the use of protective gear for workers, guidelines about agrochemical use and the prohibition of transgenic crops.[8]

Rainforest Alliance Certified Seal

The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal appears only on products that meet the crop standards and criteria detailed above. According to Consumer Reports, "The Rainforest Alliance Certified label is clear and meaningful in support of sustainable agriculture, social responsibility and integrated pest management. The label is consistent in meaning among all certified. The label does not consist of farmers and none of the members are certified by the Rainforest Alliance. In this sense, the organizations behind these labels are independent from the products they certify."[9] In February 2008, Ethical Corporation called Rainforest Alliance certification a "rigorous, independently verified scheme".[10] As of 2015, more than 4,300 companies buy or sell products from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, and the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal can be seen in more than 120 countries. As of June 2015, 13.6 percent of the world’s cocoa and 15.1 percent of tea comes from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.[citation needed] As of 2017, 5.7 percent of the world's coffee comes from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.[11]

Sustainable tourism

The Rainforest Alliance was a pioneer in third-party sustainable tourism recognition, working with hotels, inbound and outbound tour operators, and other tourism businesses to help them improve their environmental, social, and economic practices. As of October 1, 2018, NEPCon assumed management of the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Tourism Standards for Hotel and Lodging Services and Inbound Tour Operators. These standards include all elements of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators.

Criticism and response

Minimum price issues

Rainforest Alliance sustainable agriculture certification, like the certification schemes UTZ Certified and organic,[12] does not offer producers minimum or guaranteed price,[13] therefore leaving them vulnerable to market price variations. For example, in the 1980s, a pound of standard-grade coffee sold for around US $1.20; in 2003, however, a pound sold for about $0.50, which was not enough to cover the costs of production in much of the world.[14] The price of coffee has since rebounded somewhat, with prices for arabica reaching $1.18/pound by the end of 2007.[15]

Although many Rainforest Alliance Certified farms do in fact achieve price premiums for high-quality produce, Rainforest Alliance focuses on improving the entire spectrum of farming practices. Third-party studies have shown the organization’s approach to be effective in raising both income and net revenue for farmers.[16]

Michigan State University professor of sociology Daniel Jaffee has criticized Rainforest Alliance certification, claiming that its standards are "arguably far lower than fair trade's [sic]" and saying "they establish minimum housing and sanitary conditions but do not stipulate a minimum price for coffee. Critically, they require plantation owners only to pay laborers the national minimum wage, a notoriously inadequate standard."[17]

The Economist favors the Rainforest Alliance's method and notes that "guaranteeing a minimum price [as Fairtrade does] means there is no incentive to improve quality." They also note that coffee drinkers say "the quality of Fairtrade brews varies widely. The Rainforest Alliance does things differently. It does not guarantee a minimum price or offer a premium but provides training advice. That consumers are often willing to pay more for a product with the [Rainforest Alliance] logo on it is an added bonus, not the result of a formal subsidy scheme; such products must still fend for themselves in the marketplace."[18]

Use of seal

The organization certification has been criticized for allowing the use of the seal on products containing a minimum of 30% of certified content.[19] According to Michael Conroy, former chairman of the board for Fair Trade USA,[20] this use of the seal is the "most damaging dimension" of Rainforest Alliance's agricultural certification program and "a serious blow to the integrity of certification".

Lawsuit filed against Rainforest Alliance

An article in The Guardian reported that the US nonprofit Water and Sanitation Health (WASH) filed a lawsuit against Rainforest Alliance in 2014 alleging that Rainforest Alliance was responsible for unfair marketing because it certified Chiquita banana suppliers as sustainable when they were "contaminating drinking water with fertilizers and fungicides and have air-dropped pesticides perilously close to schools and homes" in Guatemala, raising the issue that Rainforest Alliance was facilitating greenwashing by companies making environmental claims. In the same article Rainforest Alliance called WASH’s allegations untrue and said it stands by its auditing practices and also objected to the lawsuit’s charges that the alliance sells its endorsement.[21][22][23] The nonprofit Truth in Advertising also reported that WASH was suing Rainforest Alliance for allegedly misrepresenting how earth-friendly its certified products actually are.[24]

Costa Rican pineapples

A report in 2020 by The Guardian alleged that some Costa Rica pineapple growers certified by the scheme were exploiting their labour force, using illegal agrochemicals, and concealing hundreds of undocumented workers from auditors. The Rainforest Alliance said all its certified plantations were required to comply with strict audits and inspections; but the report quoted the president of Fecon, a Costa Rican environmental group, as saying that audits were insufficiently rigorous to reveal violations.[25]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Rainforest Alliance Certificate". Rainforest Alliance. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  2. ^ "About Rainforest Alliance". Rainforest Alliance. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  3. ^ "The Rainforest Alliance and UTZ to Merge, Forming New, Stronger Organization". Rainforest Alliance. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  4. ^ "'Together Rainforest Alliance and UTZ will be a more powerful force for positive change' | Ethical Corporation". www.ethicalcorp.com. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  5. ^ "Q&A on the UTZ / Rainforest Alliance Merger". Rainforest Alliance. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  6. ^ "Rainforest Alliance, UTZ announce merger to create single sustainability standard and certification program". news.mongabay.com. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  7. ^ "Impacts". Rainforest-alliance.org. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  8. ^ a b "Sustainable Agriculture Standard" (PDF). Rainforest Alliance. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 15, 2006. Retrieved October 27, 2006.
  9. ^ Consumer Reports: Greener Choices (March 2008). "Resources: Eco-labels Center: Rainforest Alliance"[dead link] Accessed March 24, 2008.
  10. ^ Balch, Oliver (11 February 2008). "Brazilian Coffee: A Heady Brew of Higher Standards".[dead link] Ethical Corporation.
  11. ^ "Rainforest Alliance Impacts Report 2018". Rainforest Alliance. March 9, 2018.
  12. ^ "Organic Certification". United States Department of Agriculture. November 15, 2011. Archived from the original on April 13, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  13. ^ Mrinal Saha, Poulomi (February 2, 2005). "Bean wars". Ethical Corporation.
  14. ^ "Coffee Glut Brews Crisis For Farmers, Wildlife". National Geographic. April 24, 2003. Retrieved August 12, 2007.
  15. ^ Merrett, Neil (July 19, 2008). "Coffee costs soar into 2008". BeverageDaily. William Reed. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  16. ^ "Certification on Cocoa Farms in Côte d'Ivoire". Rainforest Alliance. August 6, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  17. ^ Jaffee, Daniel (December 7, 2007). Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability and Survival. University of California Press. p. 161-162. doi:10.1111/j.1477-8947.2007.00159_2.x. ISBN 978-0-520-24959-2.
  18. ^ "Voting with your trolley". The Economist. December 7, 2006. Retrieved August 10, 2007.
  19. ^ "Who Is the Fairest of them All?". The Guardian. November 24, 2005. Retrieved August 30, 2006.
  20. ^ "Board Members". TransFair USA. 2009-06-27. Archived from the original on January 9, 2011. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  21. ^ Shemkus, Sarah (2014-12-19). "Chiquita settles lawsuit over green marketing, but the legal battle isn't over". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020-07-08.
  22. ^ "Dole, Chiquita Sued by Seattle Nonprofit". Seattle Met. Retrieved 2020-07-08.
  23. ^ WASH. "Chiquita Sued By Seattle Based Non-Profit WASH For Deceptive Advertising". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2020-07-08.
  24. ^ "Group Challenges Rainforest Alliance Earth-Friendly Seal of Approval". Truth In Advertising. 2015-04-20. Retrieved 2020-07-08.
  25. ^ Shah, Reena (29 May 2020). "Rainforest Alliance certifying unethical pineapple farms, activists claim". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 May 2020.

External links

Videos

IRS data by ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer


RAINFOREST ALLIANCE INC

NEW YORK, NY 10004-2400 | Tax-exempt since July 1987
  • EIN: 13-3377893
  • Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501(c)(3)
    Defined as: Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
  • Donations to this organization are tax deductible.
Fiscal year ending

Dec. 2018

Fiscal year ending Dec.

2018

PDF

990
990-T
Audit

Full Text

990 (filed on Jan. 14, 2020)

Full Filing

Raw XML

990

Form 990 and audit documents available

Extracted filing data is not available for this tax period, but Form 990 and audit documents are available for download.

Fiscal year ending

Dec. 2017

Fiscal year ending Dec.

2017

PDF

990
Audit

Total Revenue

$19,330,668

Total Functional Expenses $19,744,410
Net income -$413,742
Notable sources of revenue Percent of total revenue
Contributions $8,983,915 46.5%
Program services $10,299,277 53.3%
Investment income $47,483 0.2%
Bond proceeds $0
Royalties $0
Rental property income $0
Net fundraising $0
Sales of assets -$7
Net inventory sales $0
Other revenue $0
Notable expenses Percent of total expenses
Executive compensation $586,813 3.0%
Professional fundraising fees $0
Other salaries and wages $7,646,464 38.7%
Other
Total Assets $19,170,847
Total Liabilities $12,134,974
Net Assets $7,035,873
Fiscal year ending

June 2017

Fiscal year ending June

2017

PDF

Audit

Full Text

990 (filed on March 26, 2018)

Full Filing

Raw XML

990

Total Revenue

$39,026,606

Total Functional Expenses $39,968,460
Net income -$941,854
Notable sources of revenue Percent of total revenue
Contributions $19,137,168 49.0%
Program services $19,798,984 50.7%
Investment income $90,777 0.2%
Bond proceeds $0
Royalties $0
Rental property income $0
Net fundraising $0
Sales of assets -$323
Net inventory sales $0
Other revenue $0
Notable expenses Percent of total expenses
Executive compensation $1,021,500 2.6%
Professional fundraising fees $240,485 0.6%
Other salaries and wages $15,715,504 39.3%
Other
Total Assets $16,943,286
Total Liabilities $9,594,288
Net Assets $7,348,998
Fiscal year ending

June 2016

Fiscal year ending June

2016

PDF

Audit

Full Text

990 (filed on Sept. 6, 2017)

Full Filing

Raw XML

990

Total Revenue

$38,992,488

Total Functional Expenses $43,670,389
Net income -$4,677,901
Notable sources of revenue Percent of total revenue
Contributions $19,551,286 50.1%
Program services $19,382,963 49.7%
Investment income $58,202 0.1%
Bond proceeds $0
Royalties $0
Rental property income $0
Net fundraising $0
Sales of assets $37 0.0%
Net inventory sales $0
Other revenue $0
Notable expenses Percent of total expenses
Executive compensation $2,697,147 6.2%
Professional fundraising fees $226,141 0.5%
Other salaries and wages $14,734,504 33.7%
Other
Total Assets $17,141,240
Total Liabilities $8,968,998
Net Assets $8,172,242
Fiscal year ending

June 2015

Fiscal year ending June

2015

PDF

990

Full Text

990 (filed on July 22, 2016)

Full Filing

Raw XML

990

Total Revenue

$47,704,605

Total Functional Expenses $46,651,954
Net income $1,052,651
Notable sources of revenue Percent of total revenue
Contributions $26,690,309 55.9%
Program services $20,961,782 43.9%
Investment income $47,072 0.1%
Bond proceeds $0
Royalties $0
Rental property income $0
Net fundraising $0
Sales of assets $1,152 0.0%
Net inventory sales $0
Other revenue $4,290 0.0%
Notable expenses Percent of total expenses
Executive compensation $1,930,959 4.1%
Professional fundraising fees $81,465 0.2%
Other salaries and wages $16,989,143 36.4%
Other
Total Assets $22,866,540
Total Liabilities $9,931,788
Net Assets $12,934,752
Fiscal year ending

June 2014

Fiscal year ending June

2014

PDF

990

Full Text

990 (filed on Feb. 18, 2015)

Full Filing

Raw XML

990

Total Revenue

$51,734,372

Total Functional Expenses $49,293,541
Net income $2,440,831
Notable sources of revenue Percent of total revenue
Contributions $27,993,245 54.1%
Program services $23,691,898 45.8%
Investment income $39,862 0.1%
Bond proceeds $0
Royalties $0
Rental property income $0
Net fundraising $0
Sales of assets -$12,018
Net inventory sales $0
Other revenue $21,385 0.0%
Notable expenses Percent of total expenses
Executive compensation $2,294,405 4.7%
Professional fundraising fees $90,300 0.2%
Other salaries and wages $17,605,773 35.7%
Other
Total Assets $23,080,728
Total Liabilities $10,983,123
Net Assets $12,097,605
Fiscal year ending

June 2013

Fiscal year ending June

2013

PDF

990

Raw XML

990

Total Revenue

$46,057,689

Total Functional Expenses $45,378,260
Net income $679,429
Notable sources of revenue Percent of total revenue
Contributions $25,615,599 55.6%
Program services $20,328,045 44.1%
Investment income $38,996 0.1%
Bond proceeds $0
Royalties $0
Rental property income $0
Net fundraising -$212,885
Sales of assets -$29,869
Net inventory sales $0
Other revenue $317,803 0.7%
Notable expenses Percent of total expenses
Executive compensation $1,844,160 4.1%
Professional fundraising fees $151,258 0.3%
Other salaries and wages $16,450,709 36.3%
Other
Total Assets $19,798,758
Total Liabilities $10,172,065
Net Assets $9,626,693
Fiscal year ending

June 2012

Fiscal year ending June

2012

PDF

990

Raw XML

990

Total Revenue

$43,234,468

Total Functional Expenses $40,723,740
Net income $2,510,728
Notable sources of revenue Percent of total revenue
Contributions $23,817,870 55.1%
Program services $19,316,760 44.7%
Investment income $50,478 0.1%
Bond proceeds $0
Royalties $0
Rental property income $0
Net fundraising -$146,101
Sales of assets $0
Net inventory sales $0
Other revenue $195,461 0.5%
Notable expenses Percent of total expenses
Executive compensation $1,512,037 3.7%
Professional fundraising fees $46,500 0.1%
Other salaries and wages $13,470,292 33.1%
Other
Total Assets $18,613,190
Total Liabilities $9,669,010
Net Assets $8,944,180
Fiscal year ending

June 2011

Fiscal year ending June

2011

PDF

990

Raw XML

990

Total Revenue

$38,388,406

Total Functional Expenses $36,870,229
Net income $1,518,177
Notable sources of revenue Percent of total revenue
Contributions $22,947,118 59.8%
Program services $15,234,467 39.7%
Investment income $15,744 0.0%
Bond proceeds $0
Royalties $0
Rental property income $0
Net fundraising -$62,445
Sales of assets $0
Net inventory sales $0
Other revenue $253,522 0.7%
Notable expenses Percent of total expenses
Executive compensation $898,666 2.4%
Professional fundraising fees $41,000 0.1%
Other salaries and wages $12,733,547 34.5%
Other
Total Assets $17,013,115
Total Liabilities $10,604,806
Net Assets $6,408,309
Fiscal year ending

June 2010

Fiscal year ending June

2010

PDF

990

Raw XML

990

Form 990 documents available

Extracted filing data is not available for this tax period, but Form 990 documents are available for download.

Fiscal year ending

June 2009

Fiscal year ending June

2009

PDF

990
990

Form 990 documents available

Extracted filing data is not available for this tax period, but Form 990 documents are available for download.

Fiscal year ending

June 2008

Fiscal year ending June

2008

PDF

990

Form 990 documents available

Extracted filing data is not available for this tax period, but Form 990 documents are available for download.

Fiscal year ending

June 2007

Fiscal year ending June

2007

PDF

990

Form 990 documents available

Extracted filing data is not available for this tax period, but Form 990 documents are available for download.

Fiscal year ending

June 2006

Fiscal year ending June

2006

PDF

990

Form 990 documents available

Extracted filing data is not available for this tax period, but Form 990 documents are available for download.

Fiscal year ending

June 2005

Fiscal year ending June

2005

PDF

990

Form 990 documents available

Extracted filing data is not available for this tax period, but Form 990 documents are available for download.

Fiscal year ending

June 2004

Fiscal year ending June

2004

PDF

990

Form 990 documents available

Extracted filing data is not available for this tax period, but Form 990 documents are available for download.

Fiscal year ending

June 2003

Fiscal year ending June

2003

PDF

990

Form 990 documents available

Extracted filing data is not available for this tax period, but Form 990 documents are available for download.

Fiscal year ending

June 2002

Fiscal year ending June

2002

PDF

990

Form 990 documents available

Extracted filing data is not available for this tax period, but Form 990 documents are available for download.

Fiscal year ending

June 2001

Fiscal year ending June

2001

PDF

990

Form 990 documents available

Extracted filing data is not available for this tax period, but Form 990 documents are available for download.


Last Updated: 2020-11-24 08:05