Organic Certification Coffee – Rainforest Alliance / UTZ Certification

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Organic Certification Coffee
Organic Certification Coffee – Rainforest Alliance / UTZ Certification. Rainforest Alliance — Founded in the early 1990s, the Rainforest Alliance aims to integrate efficient agriculture, biodiversity conservation, and human development.
We’ll look at some aspects of Rainforest Alliance certification (also known as Rainforest Alliance/UTZ or RFA/UTZ), where you may get started, in our series on popular coffee certifications. When you compare it to the other certifications we’ve discussed so far, you’ll notice a significant difference.

Briefing on Rainforest Alliance Certification

Before we get started, here’s a quick rundown of the Rainforest Alliance’s (RFA) accreditation principles.

A certification will be given to eligible agricultural, forest, and tourism products and services based on industry-specific requirements.
Third-party audits to strict social, environmental, and economic requirements are required for farmer certification.
Small and large-scale farms and smallholder farmers organized into member associations or cooperatives are eligible for certification.

Organic Certification Coffee

Certification does not guarantee a manufacturer’s minimum price. Still, it does contain a cost known as a “Sustainability difference,” a necessary premium paid by the consumer over the market price for the items.
The assessments are aimed to identify and remedy human rights issues such as worker housing, child abuse, forced labor, and a variety of other protective measures by comparing the net income of certified producers to a living income criterion.
Crop rotation, land management, safe use of agrochemicals and pest control, water conservation, and ecologically appropriate waste disposal are all required; GMOs (genetically modified crops) are not permitted.
There are no quality standards associated with the certification score.

The Rainforest Alliance is a non-profit organization that certifies rainforests

As you go through this series of essays, you’ll see that many of the most well-known coffee certifications date from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Deforestation was also a severe environmental problem at the time, adding to the growing worry about ozone layer depletion and other climate concerns, according to Rainforest Alliance (RFA) accreditation. A total of 20% of the world’s rainforests were destroyed between 1960 and 1990.

This crisis prompted environmentalist Daniel Katz to convene an emergency conference in 1986. The RFA was established as a non-governmental organization to focus on climate change as the root of many issues that lead to widespread poverty in rural areas and among agricultural workers economies.

The RFA established and issued a sustainable forestry standard in 1989 to support forest protection worldwide; in 1992, the organization began providing certification to individual and cooperative farms, starting with two banana farms. In 1995, the first coffee farm was certified, and today, there are more than 194,000 RFA certified coffee farmers and 286,461 workers (coffee majors) in 25 countries around the world. More than 10% of the world’s coffee crop will be RFA certified by 2018. Currently, the organization has a certified presence in over 70 countries.

The RFA established and issued a sustainable forestry standard in 1989 to support forest protection worldwide; in 1992, the organization began providing certification to individual and cooperative farms, starting with two banana farms. In 1995, the first coffee farm was certified, and today, there are more than 194,000 RFA certified coffee farmers and 286,461 workers (coffee majors) in 25 countries around the world. More than 10% of the world’s coffee crop will be RFA certified by 2018. Currently, the organization has a certified presence in over 70 countries.

Rainforest Alliance Certification: What You Should Know

Rainforest Alliance certification comes with a long and detailed list of farm requirements graded and designed to encourage “continuous improvement”: Farms will be required to improve every year after achieving pass/fail compliance with a set of core requirements.

Some of these enhancements are necessary, reviewed on a pass/fail basis, and checked in periodic programs every 3 to 6 years, while others are utilized more generally to set objectives. In their structure, they are more objective and less urgent.

Criteria for Certification

The six farm certification criteria address some of the critical aspects of sustainability that UTZ considers essential, including:

Farm management – The first criterion considers the effectiveness of farm management for both small and large-scale farms and farms managed by a team. There are rules governing leadership representation by gender and age group and accurate risk assessment and accountability in claims disputes, resource distribution, training, and other areas.
Income — These requirements are concerned with subsistence income, the payment of sustainability differentials to farmers, and the transparency of partner (buyer) investment in schemes. On participating farms, there are improvement plans in the works.

Farms must offer documentation as well as precise yield projections

Farming Practices – Farming practices include planting and crop rotation techniques, pruning, fertilizer application, and the safe application of agrochemicals and pesticides, among other things. Quality-focused harvesting and post-harvest methods were approved, taught, and executed.
Human Rights – This regulation prohibits the use of children and forced labor in the workplace, as well as workplace violence and harassment; labor contract requirements for all employees who work for more than three months; Affirm workers’ rights and demand that they be provided with necessities such as secure housing and sanitary conditions.

Organic Certification Coffee

Environment – The convergence of all of the above criteria and a set of environmental protection requirements is at the heart of RFA. Endangered species protection, afforestation projects, increased energy efficiency in farms and factories, water conservation, and respect for human-animal interactions are part of the certification requirements.

While several criteria must be met to receive RFA certification, the program’s primary premise is that farmers will improve year after year. Periodical audits will track both core compliance and cumulative gains achieved by manufacturers.

Quality and pay peet 

Unlike Fair Trade/Fairtrade, the Rainforest Alliance Certification does not include a minimum base price or a guarantee of pre-pricing for goods. Instead, the RFA imposes a “Sustainability differences” restriction, requiring the buyer to pay the farmer cash.

This extra cash payment isn’t set in stone; it’s determined by market price, quality, and volume – and it can be challenging to figure out if you’re looking for specifics on the RFA website or in their printed materials.

In addition, unlike Fair Trade/Fairtrade, there are no specific product quality criteria in the RFA certificates: quality is an abstract part of the market appeal for certified RFA coffee, and farmers must strive for high-quality products through their practices and policies, with no scores or targets mentioned in the requirements.

To obtain Rainforest Alliance accreditation

Two types of farm audits are required for Rainforest Alliance certification: Every two years, certification audits are conducted and midterm surveillance audits. The certification audit is intended to analyze the level of risk on the farm, taking into account factors such as climate change, gender inequality, and potential labor-related indications such as child labor, harassment, or workplace violence, among others. They evaluate the required fundamental standards that a farm must achieve to receive certification.

Surveillance audits are used to track progress and address any potential risks or issues to find positive and long-term solutions. Long-term required improvements (over three or six years) and farmer-determined voluntary improvement programs are included.

It is the farmer’s responsibility to fill out a Rainforest Alliance Certification application and employ and pay a certifier: The cost of the assessment procedure is not specified in the RFA, and fees will vary depending on a variety of criteria, including the size and complexity of the operation, as well as the farm’s geographic location. Farmers must also pay for any compliance-related modifications required to acquire and maintain certification.

There are several fees and levies for people wishing to buy and resell RFA authorized products. The previously mentioned “sustainable differential” premium buyers are compelled to pay farmers above the market price for their products. Audits, risk assessments, and other services come with additional costs. Finally, on any developments with stickers, participating companies must pay RFA production-based royalties. A logo with the words “Rainforest Alliance–certified” – This “royalty” for coffee is $0.015 per pound of green beans.

Is Coffee Certified by the Rainforest Alliance Better?

Before concluding that coffee with some certification is objectively “better” than coffee, one must analyze the advantages and limits of any certification scheme. There isn’t a mark.

Organic Certification Coffee

The Rainforest Alliance organic coffee certification appears to offer the complete list of human rights standards among the most widely encountered coffee certifications. Living and working conditions, health and childcare provisions, sick leave, and maternity leave are all covered. Both temporary and permanent worker contracts guarantee workers’ rights to settle grievances safely.

Furthermore, unlike organic certification, the environmental component considers the farming itself and the surrounding forest, natural resources, and local community.

On the other hand, Rainforest Alliance accreditation has specific questionable characteristics, such as the expense for producers to get and maintain certification and the lack of a flat or floor premium. To hedge against risk in the case of a market meltdown, keep your portfolio to a bare minimum. There are no particular quality regulations for coffee, contributing to market misunderstanding

Reference source:

A series of articles on certification on coffee published by Cafe Imports – An importer and independent developer of green specialty coffee, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  • CAFEIMPORTS: A Series about Certifications, part 3 – Rainforest Alliance Posted on December 21st, 2020

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