Steps to Certification for Rainforest Alliance

Step 1: Application

In order to apply for any of the Rainforest Alliance certification or verification programs, e.g. Farm, Group, Climate or Chain of Custody, you must fill an application form. Once filled, submit it to and copy for processing. You can also deliver the application to our offices in Nairobi, Côte d’Ivoire or Ghana, get the directions here

For RA Sustainable Agriculture Standard, please find the application form for Farms and for groups here

To access all the latest RA Standard documents(Farm, Group standards and related policies) visit the RA Website here

To access all the latest RA Chain of Custody Standards and policy documents visit RA website here

Once your application has been assessed and approved by AfriCert, we will contact you with a quotation and proposed schedule for the audit to be carried out.

A certification contract is signed between the producer and the certification body which spells out the obligations of the two parties as well as the terms of engagement.

Step 2: Onsite Evaluation

Once the audit date has been confirmed, an audit team of trained and competent auditors will be dispatched to your entity where they will analyze the performance of the farm, group or processing facility with regards to the standard(s) in the scope applicable to the operations.

The auditors will review documentation that provides evidence of compliance to the standard and scope in question and the operations which cause impacts on the social and environmental aspects of the farm. They also evaluate:

  • All field operation areas (including processing areas, warehouses, storehouse, laboratory)
  • Workers’ conditions and provisions, such as infrastructure areas, personal protection equipment, other equipment, sanitary premises, employee cafeteria, machinery, houses, if applicable, etc.
  • Rivers/Streams/Conservation Areas
  • Agrochemical application system
  • Other relevant areas

The audit will also include interviews with persons in charge of socio-environmental management system, supervisors, appliers of agrochemicals, field workers, processing plant workers, service suppliers, union representatives, village representatives, communities in the groups’ influence area, committee representatives (women’s committee, education committee, health and safety committee etc), where applicable.

Once the audit has concluded, the audit team will submit an audit report which shall be reviewed by the Certification Body then sent for review and approval in 10 working days to the farm, group or processing facility. The final version of the report will be sent along with other relevant documentation to AfriCert Certification Committee for analysis and certification decision

Step 3: Certification Decision

The Certification Committee of AfriCert Ltd. is responsible for making the certification decision pertinent to granting, maintaining, extending, suspending and cancelling certification of a farm or group in an independent and transparent manner, as well as follow up complaints, claims and appeals, define an order of investigation to a particular process and authorize verification audits. Once the auditors submit the documentation related to the certification process, the Committee reviews the audit report and related documentation to ensure compliance with the standards and policies of the Sustainable Agriculture Network, and makes a decision to approve or deny certification for the farm or group, or verification for the chain of custody operation wherever applicable. This process takes 10 to 20 working days in order to review and communicate the decision of the Certification Committee.

When the certification decision is made and certification approved, AfriCert issues a certificate to a client that covers a valid period of 36 months. The certification status is subject to compliance with the conditions of annual audits, research audits and non-programmed audits and can be cancelled by the Certification Body, if non-compliance with the SAN certification conditions has been detected. The certificate is delivered to the client and published in the AfriCert Website ( The certificate is also uploaded in the SAN Salesforce database and the client is allowed access to trade in the SAN Marketplace

Complaints, Claims and Appeals

AfriCert Ltd as a transparent and an accountable company is open to receive complaints, claims and appeals and follow-up through established procedures. Complaints, claims and appeals to the certification decision are handled as per the procedure found here