Profile: Rainforest Alliance
Small groups can join
Very small groups can get certified (minimum 2 farms). Prices are negotiated between traders and groups/cooperatives.
The Rainforest Alliance certification process claims to be aiming at productivity on farm level rather then on price premiums. There are studies which confirm this.
Focus on training of small-hold farmers
Rainforest Alliance focuses on training of individual farmers and trains them in sustainable farming techniques.
Rainforest Alliance lets farmers negotiate prices with traders which are usually much more powerful. There are no proposed premiums and no minimum prices
Potential for Greenwashing
Alex Nicholls, professor of social entrepreneurship at Oxford University, called Rainforest Alliance certification "a less expensive way for companies to answer consumers’ concerns about sustainability than to achieve Fair Trade certification.
No jobs created outside farming
In Africa, where most cocoa comes form, all the certified cocoa beans leave the country before being transformed into chocolate. Only exporting the raw materials does not create any new jobs.
False Sense of Ethical Buying
While consumers get the feeling of buying a perfectly sustainable product farmers might live well below the poverty line as is the problem with most certifications