In 2020, the Rainforest Alliance introduced the 2020 Rainforest Alliance Certification Programme with radical changes to address environmental, labour, and social issues in the agriculture sector. The new requirements come into effect as of July 2021. This certificate issued on 17 September marks the first banana farm in the world to obtain certification against the new 2020 Rainforest Alliance Standard. The audit was conducted by Preferred by Nature.
The Esmeralda farm was selected to be part of the pilot programme for the implementation of this Standard as the Rainforest Alliance and Fyffes have had years of successful collaboration in previous projects, such as the Living Wage project in Belize. In this project, Fyffes had selected Preferred by Nature to lead this as a third party.
"As the new Rainforest Alliance Standard is one of the strongest agriculture standards covering most relevant sustainability aspects, it's indeed a milestone for Fyffes' Esmeralda farm to be the first banana farm to be certified against this Standard," said Ariel Zorrilla, Preferred by Nature's Director of Agriculture.
"By providing a practical guidance for sustainable agriculture, the Standard helps farmers to produce better crops, adapt to climate change, increase their productivity while supporting them as they set targets to achieve their sustainability goals," explained Ariel.
The Rainforest Alliance 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Standard requires companies to develop a management system that focuses on risk mitigation and elimination, which requires the implementation of preventive and corrective actions.
"With this new milestone, Fyffes reaffirms its global leadership strategy in sustainability-related compliance. Our commitment to facilitating the development of progressive, pragmatic and innovative solutions together with sustainability standards is once again demonstrated, and it helps strengthen the trust so demanded by our customers," said Hugo Hays, Global Director of Food Safety at Fyffes.
In addition, the new Standard is equipped with additional tools to help prevent and eliminate human rights violations, deforestation and comply with national legislation. Learn more about the Rainforest Alliance 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Standard here.
Preferred by Nature is an authorised certification body for the Rainforest Alliance certification programme. If you are interested in getting started on your Rainforest Alliance certification journey, click here to see how we can support you.
Photo courtesy of Fyffes.