Is the Little Green Frog a Coffee Addict?April 9, 2010
Whether you find him hopping across a bag of beans or leaping upon your morning latte, the Rainforest Alliance’s amphibious seal of certification is making his appearance with increasing frequency. And that’s good news for coffee drinkers and growers alike. The little green frog on the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal symbolizes sustainable farming. It’s awarded to farms that have met the the environmental and social criteria of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), an international coalition of conservation nonprofits that we coordinate. Rainforest Alliance Certified farms protect wildlife habitat, conserve natural resources and ensure that farm workers and their families have good working and living conditions.
According to the SAN’s latest figures, the total production of Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee increased by 36 percent from 2008 to 2009, for a total of more than 370 million pounds (168,114 metric tons), and sales of certified beans grew by 41 percent during the same one-year period. In addition, last year the SAN added six new names to its list of countries where the network has certified coffee farms, including India, Kenya, Uganda, the United States (Hawaii), Zambia and the Dominican Republic. As of December 2009, there were 27,610 Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farms around the world.
Even more encouraging is the fact that the 2009 figures are not an aberration — they represent a continuation of the steady growth the coffee program has experienced over the last seven years. Since 2003, the supply of Rainforest Alliance Certified beans has grown by an average of 64 percent per year, and sales have increased by an even larger amount, an average of 77 percent per year over the same period.
Just imagine where we’ll be in 2011!