Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Alliance

A good, regulated standard. Not as strong as Fairtrade, but worth supporting










Label Mouse says:

In a nutshell, its a slightly different (and weaker) approach to that taken by Fairtrade.

The label means the product or ingredient has been produced using methods that support the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental.

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, improve livelihoods, and safeguard the rights and well-being of workers and local communities.

In February 2008, Ethical Corporation called Rainforest Alliance certification a “rigorous, independently verified scheme" but in recent years the level required to achieve certifications has become less stringent with 'core requirements' rather than complete compliance. The scheme does not offer a minimum or guaranteed price for products (unlike Fairtrade) so it leaves producers vulnerable to market variations. The scheme also only requires the national minimum age - which may be insufficient in the local country.

However some feel that Rainforest Alliance's approach - that products must fend for them selves on the market rather than being artificially supported - helps improve quality.

This label means that 90% of the product meets the standard - not the full 100%. When it comes to herbs, compliance only has to be 50% and for palm oil, the minimum threshold is 30%.

They promise:

The Rainforest Alliance scheme covers social, economic and environmental issues as is part of the Living Wage Coalition.

Certified produce must have systems in place to protect a farm's natural biodiversity and resources, including restricting the use of certain pesticides, not contributing to deforestation and minimising soil erosion. Farms must treat workers fairly and not allow child labour.

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What is Label Mouse?

There are a lot of food labels out there, but its pretty unclear what they mean.

With the UK leaving the EU we're able to define our own regulations on how our food is produced, the impact on the environment and how the animals involved are cared for. This could be a good or a bad thing. The extra player in the mix is that brands are introducing their own schemes which can appear more eco-friendly than they actually are.

Label Mouse does the research to help you make more informed buying choices. Hope it's useful.
Suggestions and support welcome!