Monday, August 24, 2009

Fair Expectations: Rainforest Alliance v. Fairtrade

Fair Expectations: Rainforest Alliance v. Fairtrade One of these fair trade certifications is not like the other. View the chart in the article to learn which is "fairer". UPDATE: Click here to see read the response by the Rainforest Alliance to the article. I don't think 12 hours passed from the time that I shared the original article to the time that I received a comment sharing the response from the Rainforest Alliance.

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Abby from the Rainforest Alliance said...

Hey Gloria - Thought you'd want to see our response to that inaccurate article.

Michiel said...

Hi, i work for Unilever, a multinational company that works with both Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance. I have worked closely on launches of some of our products that are certified by either RA or FT.

This article (Fair expectations..etc) is not helpful since it is badly researched and biased. It contains several factual errors about both FT and RA.

Justin fails to mention that both FT and RA are members of ISEAL- which is the de facto gold standard for certification schemes. ( ) ISEAL has strict rules for the setting of standards, including stakeholder engagement.

RA and FT have different objectives and use a different approach. Both schemes have their strengths and weaknesses. They’re complimentary, and both further sustainable development, but in different ways. To say one is better than the other is like saying apples are better than oranges.

Unfortunately some people see certification schemes as a zero-sum game- if RA wins then FT loses. This is doing a disservice to both schemes. The reality is that we shouldn’t focus on the difference between RA and FT. We should focus on the difference between certified and non-certified goods. If only one consumer buys a non- certified product instead of an RA certified product as a result of this article then that is a loss for sustainable development as a whole.

I would have said exactly the same thing if the article had been written pro RA and contra FT.