Rainforest Alliance has confirmed that it has moved publication of its new Sustainable Agriculture Standard and Chain of Custody to June 2020.
In a communication to stakeholders, Han de Groot, Chief Executive Officer at Rainforest Alliance said, “We made it a key strategic objective to reimagine certification, so it delivers greater value to all producers and supply chain actors. Our aim is to create an improvement-based system that can drive sustainability performance throughout supply chains.
“The updated timeline will allow us to publish the standards in a more integrated way with other key parts of the 2020 Certification Programme – in particular, the guidelines for implementation and auditing. We’re designing the new certification programme to be a more complete, robust toolkit for our stakeholders, and the standards are just part one part of this.”
Mr de Groot said the adjusted timeframe would enable Rainforest to test the standards in different regions and contexts to ensure it brings the greatest possible value to all stakeholders, invest in more stakeholder consultation and engagement, and take time to refine its approach on key topics, based on the considerable feedback gathered during the consultations.
In the meantime, and until they have completed their merger, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certification programmes continue to run in parallel, with chain of custody mutual recognition for all crops and claim-level mutual recognition for cocoa, tea and hazelnuts.
“We continue to work on developing mutual recognition possibilities for other sectors, and we are also in an advanced stage of working on a refreshed and modernized seal for use on pack,” Mr de Groot said.