Green Coffee Company Is Now the Largest Rainforest Alliance Certified Producer in Colombia
You might have already heard about our new certification, but did you know that Green Coffee Company is now the largest Rainforest Alliance Certified producer in Colombia?
There are over 100 certified parties in Colombia, holding either a “single farm” or “farm group” Rainforest Alliance certificate. GCC falls under the same “farm group” category, and all of our farms are wholly owned and operated by us. Among other Rainforest Alliance Certified producers, we are one of the few producers holding its own certification and we are the largest of these independent producers.
Most “farm groups” are actually cooperatives or exporters that hold the certification and pass it along to verified smallholder farms within their value chain. Why the confusing structure? Cost. The certification process is expensive, especially for a small farmer with limited resources.
Large companies are able to absorb the cost and help their numerous farmer producers go through the audit process to become a certified farm within the group certification. We support all producers that are committed to responsible production and are proud to be among their ranks, however, traceability becomes very challenging under this shared certification structure.
The certification process involved several audits from a third party verifier. They visited our farms on several occasions, met with our team, examined our production methods, and created reports that outlined how our current practices compare to their standards.
Rainforest Alliance standards don’t only consider responsible agricultural practices, but also consider employee safety and human rights issues like safety training, personal protection, access to clean water and shelter, rest days, and other details that are verified to ensure a healthy work environment.
GCC’s formal employment program focused on many of the same issues as Rainforest Alliance, but the certification process helped our team look at our practices from a new lens. Social impact is one of the main initiatives of our company’s mission, and we’re proud to comply with internationally recognized standards on both the social and environmental fronts.
Under the new Rainforest Alliance model, our farms will undergo another audit the following year to check if we have improved upon conditions that were measured in our initial certification. To be Rainforest Alliance Certified is now a journey of constant improvement and progress towards more responsible production practices. This is the beginning of our commitment to constantly improving our production methods for a better team and a better planet