Rainforest Alliance & Fairtrade – The No-Nonsense Guide

Posted by Catherine Gray on 07-Dec-2017 09:47:36

Businesses today are more socially conscious than ever before. Companies of every size pay more mind to the way they go about their business and the impact their choices have on the planet. But running a business as ethically as possible isn’t easy. Misinformation, myths and misconceptions abound in environmental conversation. It can be all too easy to be overwhelmed into making the wrong choice.

When it comes to coffee, socially responsible choices include Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade certified products. Both are distinctly different, yet regularly get confused for one another. Here we cut through the noise with crystal clear explanations of the differences between the two.

Fairtrade Coffee - The Power to Change the World, Every Day


Fairtrade is a global organisation that makes a difference to the lives and communities that grow the products we consume and love. These products are priced fairly. This provides for decent working conditions and a truly fair deal for farmers and workers in developing countries.

The concept is simple – redress the imbalance between the West and the developing world. All those everyday purchases lead to very real positive impacts at scale. You can buy safe in the knowledge that certain social, economic and environmental standards are met – for companies and farmers alike.

Fairtrade also means that entire supply chains commit to the fair treatment of workers.

There are 1,226 Fairtrade Certified Producer Organisations, spanning some 74 countries. Over 2013 to 2014, €106.2 million went to Fairtrade farmers.

“We have a vision: a world in which all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfil their potential and decide on their future.

Our mission is to connect disadvantaged producers and consumers, promote fairer trading conditions and empower producers to combat poverty, strengthen their position and take more control over their lives”.

- Fairtrade Mission and Vision Statements

Rainforest Alliance Coffee – Standing for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Livelihoods

The Rainforest Alliance certifies many products and services across many industries – from tourism to forestry and agriculture. The Rainforest Alliance mark means that the natural resources behind a product or service are sustainable and ‘climate smart’.

When it comes to food and farming (including coffee production), the Alliance is taking on a massive challenge. Agriculture drives 80% of tropical deforestation, producing around 1.5 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

They work on the frontline of farming and coffee production to put sustainable practices in place. They’re involved in training farmers in forest conservation. You can also find them protecting streams and rivers, nurturing soil health, and boosting crop yields.

If your coffee features the Rainforest Alliance mark, you can be confident that the farmer behind the packaging is working hard to take care of the planet, whilst serving up steaming cup after cup.

Most of our coffee beans and ground coffees are either Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance certified. To discuss which are which or talk about solutions that suit your office, get in touch with the team.

Topics: Coffee beans, fairtrade, rainforest alliance

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