During 2014, the Rainforest Alliance achieved major milestones. The early part of the year saw the millionth Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farm. By the end of the year, nearly 2000 Rainforest Alliance Certified forestry operations were protecting over 100 million acres of forestland worldwide. Forest carbon projects verified by the Rainforest Alliance kept 15 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions out of our atmosphere in 2014—the equivalent of taking 4.4 million cars off the road. Millions of farmers, foresters and tourism workers—and their families—benefitted from the impacts of our work at origin, as did their communities. And we fostered a strong foundation for future sustainability transformation by engaging many thousands of farmers, forest communities, tourism businesses, teachers and students in our training and environmental education programs.
These results demonstrate the transformative power of market-based sustainability solutions and a growing awareness of the longterm benefits of Rainforest Alliance certification among producers, companies and consumers around the world. Below are some by-the-numbers snapshots of our impacts in 2014.
2014 Sustainable Agriculture Highlights
- 1,200,000 farms: The total number of farms that had achieved Rainforest Alliance by the end of 2014, surpassing the 1 million mark and representing 21 percent growth since 2013.
- 8.6 million acres of farmland (3.5 million hectares): The total area of land managed sustainably on Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTMfarms, spanning 42 countries.
- 13.6 percent of the world’s cocoa: The estimated share of cocoa produced on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. About 575,000 metric tons of cocoa were grown on certified farms in 2014. Certified cocoa sales recorded in 2014 totaled 238,000 metric tons, a 14 percent increase over 2013.
- 15.1 percent of the world’s tea: The estimated share of tea produced on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. Some 808,000 metric tons of tea was grown on certified farms in 2014, representing a 20 percent increase over 2013
- 5.4 percent of the world’s coffee: The estimated share of coffee produced on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. About 457,000 metric tons of coffee was grown on certified farms in 2014. Certified coffee sales recorded in 2014 totaled 185,000 metric tons, a 10 percent increase over 2013.
- 500+ companies: The number of new companies that began working with the Rainforest Alliance in 2014. They join many thousands around the world that now buy and/or sell products from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.
2014 Sustainable Forestry Highlights
- Nearly 2000 forestry operations: The total number (1990) of forest operations managed under Rainforest Alliance certification to Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) standards.
- 102 million acres of forestland (41.3 million hectares): The total area of forestland now under Rainforest Alliance certification to FSC standards, benefitting millions of people in forest communities in 50 countries. It includes 4.9 million acres of forestland (2.1 million hectares) added during 2014.
- 21 percent of FSC-certified land: The percentage of FSC-certified land certified by the Rainforest Alliance. We’re the leading FSC certifier worldwide.
- 1700 FSC Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certifications: The total number of CoC certifications issued by the Rainforest Alliance as of the end of 2014, across 77 countries.
- Over 100 forest communities: The number of forest communities we assisted in 10 countries around the world to improve forest management and expand the capacity of local businesses to market sustainably harvested timber and non-timber products, generate jobs, defend local land rights, and keep forest ecosystems healthy and intact.
- US $14 million: The amount of money earned by indigenous and forest communities through the sale of forest products in 2014 (from both certified forests and forests in the process of certification).
2014 Climate Change Highlights
- 60 forest carbon projects: The total number of forest carbon projects that achieved Rainforest Alliance verification or validation by the end of 2014, covering a total of 10.7 million acres (4.3 million hectares) of forestland across 25 countries. These include 9 new projects and a 57% expansion in land area since 2013.
- 4.4 million cars / annual greenhouse gas emissions: The equivalent of the total carbon emissions—15 million tons of carbon—sequestered in 2014 through Rainforest Allianceverified forest carbon projects. Total emissions savings from our programs more than doubled in 2014.
- 1400 stakeholders: The number of forest stakeholders we engaged during 2014 through 88 different trainings on environmentally and socially sound climate management in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru. Training covered low-impact timber harvesting, forest pest management, best practices in cattle ranching, climate-smart agricultural techniques, climate change education for teachers, and more.
- 500 stakeholders: The number of stakeholders we trained during 2014 in REDD+ 1 implementation activities in Mexico. Training covered pest and fire management, tree nursery care, low-emissions farming and cattle grazing practices, social and environmental safeguards, and more.
- 9000 stakeholders: The number of people we engaged in REDD+ and climate change awareness-raising and education programs in Mexico and elsewhere through workshops, events and communications on sustainable development.
- Working with government agencies and other institutions in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Guatemala and Educator we helped to shape REDD+ and climate change strategy development and decision-making. We were founding members of the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture, launched at the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2014.
- 200 coffee farmers: The number of coffee producers in Oaxaca, Mexico who improved their ability to adapt to climate change through our CO2 Coffee Project. They received training in climate-smart coffee management practices, including sustainable management of the climate-change–related outbreak of roya, a devastating coffee plant disease.
- 102,000 acres (41,300 hectares) of pasture, farmland and forestland: The total land area that had come under improved/ sustainable management in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru through the Rainforest Alliance Net Zero Deforestation Zones (NZDZ) project by the end of 2014. We also engaged in initiatives that support net-zero deforestation zone goals within commodity crop supply chains. For example, we participated in technical working groups, assisted Peru’s government with the development Peru’s National Pact for Legal Timber and signed the New York Declaration on Forests at the 2014 UN Climate Summit.
2014 Sustainable Tourism Highlights
- 774 tourism businesses: The total number of tourism businesses across Latin America we have worked with as of the end of 2014 to help them adopt practices that protect the environment and support local communities.
- 52 tourism business: The total number of tourism business spanning 10 Latin American countries that have obtained or are in the process of obtaining Rainforest Alliance certification as a result of their implementation of practices that protect the environment and support local communities.
- 151 tourism businesses: The number of community-based tourism businesses in Latin America that received training and technical assistance in best management practices from the Rainforest Alliance.
- 28,000 households: The number of households directly benefiting from our sustainable tourism work across Latin America.
2014 Education Highlights
- Nearly 10,000 students: The number of students the Rainforest Alliance empowered with knowledge and skills to promote environmental conservation in local communities during the 2013-2014 school year. They included 3,200 students and 210 teachers across the US, and 6,600 students and 342 teachers in Guatemala, Mexico and Peru.
- 22.7 million views: The number of times the online Rainforest Alliance Learning Site has been viewed so far, including 3.7 million views in 2014.