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The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) with staff in more than 20 countries and operations in more than 70 countries. It was founded in 1987 by Daniel Katz, an American environmental activist, who serves as the chair of the board of directors.
The NGO states that its mission is “to create a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities.” Its work includes the provision of an environmental certification for sustainability in agriculture.
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 coffee, tea, cocoa, and bananas.
In order to obtain Rainforest Alliance certification, compliance with certain environmental, social, and economic criteria is required. Thus, farms that want to qualify for certification regularly undergo compliance auditing.
The Sustainable Agriculture Standard features innovation in the following areas: climate-smart agriculture, deforestation, conserving biodiversity, assessments, shared responsibility, human rights, living wage, continuous improvement, living income, risk-based assurance and gender equality.