SCS Global Services (SCS), a pioneer and global leader in third-party environmental and sustainability certiﬁcation, auditing, testing, and standards development, today announced it has been formally accepted by Rainforest Alliance as an authorized certification body to the Rainforest Alliance 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Standard (SAS). SCS will provide international agricultural producers who are working to meet the SAS with independent auditing and certification services, confirming their conformance to criteria addressing ecosystem conservation, wildlife protection, and fair treatment and good working conditions for workers.
SCS has a long-established history of providing thorough, science-based auditing and certification practices in the food and agriculture sector, starting with Pesticide Residue Free and food safety certifications in the 1980s. In addition to providing Rainforest Alliance certification audits, which is an evolution from SCS’ historical role as an UTZ certification body, SCS also certifies to the Fair Trade USA, USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project, RSPO, EFI, SMETA, and Bonsucro standards, as well as to its own internationally recognized Sustainably Grown certification program, and its recently launched Gluten-Free Standard.
“Becoming an authorized Rainforest Alliance certification body was a natural transition from auditing to the UTZ standard. We look forward to being able to certify companies to the new SAS,” said Victoria Chuong, SCS’ Rainforest Alliance Scheme Manager. “Rainforest Alliance is not only one of the most recognizable certification programs, but also one of the most thorough and socially conscious schemes, which fits in well with SCS’ established science-based and planet-focused best practices within the certification industry.”
The Rainforest Alliance 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Standard is the result of the merger of Rainforest Alliance and UTZ in 2018 in which a single agriculture sustainability standard and certification program was created. The new framework allows farms to perform one audit of their operations and avoid duplication of work to adhere to the world’s two most widely known sustainability certification standards.
As an approved Rainforest Alliance certification body, SCS will join other certification bodies in auditing against the new SAS beginning in July 2021. In addition to well-established auditing best practices related to climate, environment and general worker safety, the new standard has added provisions for gender equality and Sustainability Differential (SD)/Sustainability Investments (SI), traditionally referred to as premiums within certification programs. The SD is a mandatory cash payment to the farm certificate holder to be used in full for worker benefits. Similarly, the SI are payments in cash or in-kind for the specific purpose of helping farms meet the farm requirements within the SAS or for continued improvements at the farm certificate holder level.
Agricultural producers interested in Rainforest Alliance certification can reach out to SCS Global Services through the SCS website: www.scsglobalservices.com/services/rainforest-alliance-certification