Rainforest Alliance certified Cocoa farmers and other Agricultural produce will enjoy additional financial benefits from July, 2022, as a motivation to continue to produce in a sustainable manner.
As part of its 2020 Certification Programme, the Rainforest Alliance (RA) is rolling out two financial requirements for the buyers of Rainforest Alliance Certified commodities.
The financial benefits include Sustainability Differential (SD) and Sustainability Investments (SI).
The Sustainability Differential (SD) is a mandatory cash payment to the farm certificate holder. It is intended to be transferred in full to group members in case of a group certificate holder and to be used in full for worker benefits in case of a medium to the large farm certificate holder.
Sustainability Investments (SI) are also payments to the farm certificate holder in cash or kind with the specific purpose of helping them meet the Farm Requirements of the Sustainable Agriculture Standard and continuous improvement at the farm certificate holder level. These will be based on an investment plan drawn up by the farm certificate holder
These were made known at a two-day capacity building workshop organized by the Rainforest Alliance in collaboration with the Ghana Agriculture and Rural Development Journalists Association of Ghana (GARDJA).
The workshop was meant for Journalists to understand how Rain Forest Alliance is working to solve urgent environmental and social challenges as well as build economic opportunities and better working conditions for rural people.
Explaining further on the SD and the SI, Mr Joseph Yaw Mensah, Senior Associate, Training and Certification at Rain Forest Alliance, informed participants that all buyers of Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa, coffee and other produce, will be required to pay SD and SI for new Rainforest Alliance certified volumes from July 1, 2022, onwards.
Mr Mensah indicated that buyers have been strictly cautioned by Rainforest Alliance not to touch the SD amount as it is mandatory to make such payments to the Farmers.
He added: “This additional monetary amount is paid to certified producers on top of the market price to reward them for producing sustainably.”
Farmers, according to him, will be paid 70 US Dollars per metric ton of cocoa.
Sixteen Jute sacks of cocoa translate into one metric ton of Cocoa. Thus, RA-certified farmers will receive an additional Ghc 26 on top of each bag of produce they sell to RA certified buyers aside from the market price.
Leslie Adwoa Agyapong, Reimagining Certification Manager at Rainforest Alliance in her introductory remarks explained that the Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization working across the world in areas of business, agriculture, and forests.
The organization, she said, is creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities.
She indicated that the principles underpinning the new certification programme include transparency, continuous improvement, shared responsibility, and Integrated approach to farm and supply chain.
Some other topics that were discussed at the workshop included, Landscape and Communities, Traceability, Farm Environment and Geolocation, Deforestation risk assessment, the LEAN Project, among others.
On his part, Nana Yaw Reuben, Projects Coordinator at GARDJA, took participants through the workings of GARDJA and how its activities are helping farmers to get their concerns across to policymakers.
He used the platform to encourage RA and other like-minded organizations to support GARDJA
financially to enable it effectively implement its activities.