GHANA – The Rainforest Alliance has unveiled its 2020 Certification Program after years of hard work and collaboration to enhance support for sustainable agricultural production and supply chains.
Speaking to journalists, the Country Director for Rainforest Alliance Ghana, Mr. Kwame Osei, said that the 2020 Certification Program “defines their long-term vision for the future, and the path required to get us there.”
Mr. Osei further noted that that the new standard, assurance system and related data and technology systems are designed to deliver more value to businesses around the world that use Rainforest Alliance certification as an essential tool to support sustainable agricultural production and supply chains.
“As experts in sustainable agriculture, we recognize that now is the time to “Reimagine certification” as we know it” he added.
Osei explains that reimagining Certification is part of Rainforest Alliance’s wider strategy to drive sustainability at scale in the sectors in which they operate through interconnected interventions supporting certification, tailored supply chain services, landscapes and communities and advocacy.
The Country Director for Rainforest Alliance Ghana indicated that beginning July next year, certificate holders at the farm level will only be required to comply with the core requirements of the 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Standard.
He explains that after July 1, 2022, in their first full-scale certification audit, certificate holders at the farm level will be audited against the full set of applicable farm requirements.
“following successful audits, certificate holders will receive a transition certificate that is valid for one year; this will give more time to implement the full set of 2020 standard requirements” Osei added.
He explained that this year will be counted as the first year of the full-scale three-year certification cycle, which requires annual surveillance audits.
The new program, according to Mr. Osei, builds on 30 years of their certification experience and incorporates input from more than 1,000 people in nearly 50 countries, representing over 200 organizations, from farmers, companies and NGOs to governments and research institutes.
The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization that works to promote sustainable forestry, agriculture and tourism through issuance of environmental certifications.
The NGO is 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.