As ethically responsible consumers and businesses, we all want to make sure we are doing everything we can to preserve our planet and support our people.
There are several organisations that promote environmental well-being and ethical practices, some of which provide accreditation to confirm their authenticity. With so many certifications, labels and jargon, it can be difficult to make informed choices. You have probably seen some of the following stamps on your coffee bags (or chocolate, tea and many more for that matter) so look no further than this guide to find out exactly what they stand for!
The Rainforest Alliance is a non-governmental organisation that promotes sustainable practices in agriculture, forestry and tourism.
They aim to improve livelihoods and well-being for farmers, protect endangered species, respect the rights of local communities and indigenous people, and use natural resources wisely, amongst other important principles.
Products that display the Rainforest Alliance certification have been audited by the organisation themselves and therefore meet the required high standards.
Fun Fact! The Rainforest Alliance seal features a frog as they are a symbol of environmental health.
Find out more about the Rainforest Alliance >>
The Fairtrade initiative exists to connect farmers and workers to consumers, promote fairer trading conditions, and empower workers to take more control over their lives. The Fairtrade mark guarantees that suppliers have received a price for goods that exceeds the cost of production.
For Fairtrade certified coffee, producers receive a social premium per pound of product, which must be spent on improving the community. The cooperative democratically decide on how it is spent to ensure the whole community can benefit from it.
Fairtrade has been shown to increase standards of living and reduce risk and vulnerability for farmers and workers.
Fun Fact! There are 1411 Fairtrade certified producer organisations in 73 countries.
Find out more about Fairtrade >>
Organic simply means no unnecessary chemicals or pesticides have been used on crops. In the UK, organic certification is managed by various organisations and regulated by DEFRA.
For organic certified coffee, producers receive a premium of $0.30/lb.
Find out more at the European Union Organic website >>
You may have also seen the UTZ certification on your coffee. UTZ is a label and program for sustainable farming of coffee, cocoa, tea and hazelnuts. Certified suppliers follow the UTZ code of conduct to ensure better farming methods, working conditions and care for nature. It has now part of the Rainforest Alliance.
Fun Fact! UTZ merged with the Rainforest Alliance in 2018.
Find out more about UTZ >>
So now you know what each of those little stamps mean and you can be safe in the knowledge that they each represent ethical practices!
To find out about sustainable packaging, read our blog on disposable coffee cups.
Tagged with: Fairtrade • Organic • Rainforest Alliance • sustainable • UTZ