The race is on to meet the requirements of the European Union Zero Deforestation Products Regulation ( EUDR ) by December 30, 2024, and certified coffee and cocoa companies can consider the Rainforest Alliance as a partner in achieving this goal.
Rainforest Alliance makes the potential of its systems available to help certified cocoa and coffee supply chain partners demonstrate compliance with EUDR requirements, and at no additional cost .
The regulation requires operators and traders who sell cocoa and coffee (as well as derived products such as chocolate ) on EU markets, or export them from the EU, to demonstrate that these products do not come from land deforested after 31 December 2020 .
The RA certification program is already equipped with a number of tools and systems, such as innovative automated risk assessment maps for deforestation, which can provide companies with the complementary information needed for compliance and their risk assessments.
Certification: a crucial step towards EUDR compliance
The EUDR is already closely aligned with the approach incorporated into the Rainforest Alliance certification program, with some small but crucial differences between the requirements of both.
RA expert teams are accelerating the necessary changes to ensure that systems and tools are able to support the EUDR needs of certified companies in two essential areas:
For farmers: EUDR criteria for cocoa and coffee certificate holders
Starting January 15, 2024, farmers will be able to select specific criteria in line with the EUDR requirements in the Rainforest Alliance Certification Platform (RACP).
Agricultural certificate holders who choose these self-selected criteria will no longer be able to use our current allowance for "minor conversion" of land to agricultural use after the EUDR cut-off date.
For businesses: evidence to support compliance
Traceability is the backbone of Rainforest Alliance certification. Our system already offers comprehensive traceability options and by December 30, 2024, all supply chain stakeholders, including producers, importers, producers, brands and retailers who source Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa or coffee through Identity supply chains Preserved or Mixed Identity Preserved, will have the possibility to identify agricultural certificate holders who have selected the EUDR criteria in the RACP.
Users may choose to access data (including precise geodata) necessary to support compliance with their obligations under the EUDR.
How your business can prepare
To meet the December 2024 deadline, companies should immediately take the following four steps to facilitate compliance.
Prioritize “Identity Preserved” controls: Take immediate steps to improve your company's tracking efforts to include Identity Preserved and Mixed Identity Preserved volumes.
Engage your farm and other suppliers: Encourage your agricultural suppliers to self-select EUDR-aligned requirements in the RACP and ensure they understand the importance of these choices; Encourage other vendors to do the same and improve their traceability efforts to include Identity Preserved and Mixed Identity Preserved audits.
Facilitate farm-level geodata collection: Actively support your supply base in collecting and presenting geospatial data in line with EUDR requirements; Once this data is uploaded, Rainforest Alliance can accurately compare post-2020 deforestation and conversion to our deforestation risk maps, a key resource your business can use as supporting compliance documentation.
Clarify the benefits of certification: Ensure that internal and external stakeholders have a complete understanding of how Rainforest Alliance certification can benefit you and your supply chain in meeting EUDR compliance.