So, what does “Rainforest Alliance Certified” really mean?

I am always skeptical when buying and consuming products that have “organic” or “rainforest alliance” stamped on them. I would like to think that false advertisement isn’t real but we all know the truth can be stretched– especially when money is involved. The UVA dining halls serve “Rainforest Alliance Certified” coffee, but I was never quite sure what that meant. So, I decided to do some investigating.

I was extremely pleased to learn that the Rainforest Alliance is in fact helping to reduce the endless environmental impacts of the agricultural industry while also ensuring fairness for employees and continuously making efforts to improve the way the agricultural industry functions today. Because, as we all know, the worlds population is increasing and people have got to eat!

taken from
taken from

Here are a few things I learned from the Rainforest Alliance website (

  1. All products bearing the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal come from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms or forests
  2. Certified farms are run based on standards set by the Sustainable Agricultural Network, such as:
    • Ecosystem conservation- protecting existing ecosystems and restoring those in need
    • Water conservation- farms develop ways to reduce wasting any water and prevent contamination of surrounding bodies of water by maintaining waste- water treatment
    • Working conditions- workers are paid a legal minimum wage and have access to education and health services
  3. Certified Farms follow the Forest Stewardship Council’s ten principles, including:
    • Environmental impact- maintaining or restoring the ecosystem
    • Indigenous peoples’ rights- identifying and upholding their rights
    • Monitoring and assessment- demonstrating progress towards management objectives

I hope you are as pleased as I am with these findings! To learn more about sustainability through the SAN and FSC visit their websites at and To find Rainforest Alliance Certified products sold near you visit

Information taken from, and

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