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Rainforest Alliance

Certification Introduction

Rainforest Alliance (RA) is an international non-profit organization working at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests to make responsible business the new normal. By bringing stakeholders from various sectors together, it drives changes on some of the most pressing social and environmental issues.

RA 2020 certification program aims at protecting nature, bettering the livelihoods of farmers and improving forest communities through implementing the sustainable agriculture standard. The program came into force on July 1, 2021. The sustainable agriculture standard encompasses farm requirements and supply chain requirements.

  • Farm Requirements, applicable to farms or farm organizations, are designed to support certificate holders in maximizing the positive impacts of agriculture on society, environment and economy, and to offer an enhanced framework for farmers to improve their livelihoods and protect their working and living environments.

  • Supply Chain Requirements, applicable to processors and traders that deal with products sourced from RA certified farms, aim to help enterprises with sustainable development investment in farms, and encourage responsible business practices within and beyond the operational scope, creating a more balanced supply chain structure.

Benefits of RA 2020 Certification

  • Help certified organizations gain recognition from international chain/retail enterprises.

  • Help certified organizations enhance their management capabilities and social impact.

  • Help eliminate technical barriers to trade, promoting international economic cooperation.

Scope of RA 2020 Certification


Certification Type

Certified Products




Farm Certification

Tea, cocoa, coffee, flowers, fruits, nuts, spices, palm oil, vegetables, etc.

Farms or farm organizations involving agricultural activities.

Green coffee, fresh tea, flowers, bananas, macadamia nuts, ginger, cabbage, etc.




Supply Chain Certification (processing, storage, sale, etc.)

Manufactured products made from tea, cocoa, coffee, flowers, fruits, nuts, spices, palm oil, vegetables, etc.

Processors and traders that deal with products sourced from RA certified farms

Coffee, tea drinks, rose pastries, seasoning packet, etc.


RA 2020 Certification Process:



Certification Body/RA

Certificate Holder



Website for registration:


(Potential or current) certificate holders create a certification account in the RA certification system and fill in basic information.

Certification scope confirmation

Log in after registration:


Update information of certification scope including certified base, certified processing plants, personnel information and trade.

Risk assessment

Risk assessment


Complete risk assessment in the RA certification system and identify certification level.

Choose a certification body

Choose a certification body

Establish connections between the certification body and client

Choose the authorized certification body conducting inspection according to the certification grade.

Application and acceptance

Certification application

Introduction of CQC and RA certification

Fill in application documents and basic information of applicants


Complete application review and quotation of certification fees

Submit application documents and check fees

Contract signing

Contract Signing

Contract signing

Conduct inspections

Preparation for audit

Release audit notification, audit tasks and audit plan

Identify and provide materials for on-site audit

On-site audit

The inspection team conducts on-site audit based on requirements

Provide materials for on-site audit

Certification recommendation

Issue the audit result and non-compliance report if necessary

Identify and develop corrective measures

Conformity assessment

Materials assessment

Assess the materials submitted by the audit team

Supplementary materials (if applicable)

Certification approval

Approval by CQC leaders


Certificate making

Certificate making


Issuance of license

Certification bodies upload certification results to the RA certification platform, and the RA issues or denies a RA certification license to the certificate holder based on submitted results.

Access and download the license on RA certification platform.

Certificate mailing

Certificate mailing

Check the delivery of certificate

 Certificate Alteration

Release the tasks of handling, assessment and audit for the application of certificate alteration (if necessary)

Provide materials for on-site audit (if necessary)

  Re-certification audit

Same process as the first certification audit

RA 2020 Certification Certificate

The RA2020 certification certificate is valid for three years, with annual inspections conducted during this period.

Introduction of Website / Exception Clause