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Rainforest Alliance Certified™: A guide

Here at DR Wakefield, we are impassioned by where the coffee we source comes from – by the countries, the regions, the people, the process and the product. Therefore, it should come as little surprise that we were in fact the first coffee importer in the UK to promote the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal back in 2003.

While awareness of the certification has continued to gain traction, DR Wakefield was awarded the Rainforest Alliance’s Corporate Green Globe Award in 2003 for our efforts.

But why do we think it is so important?

Rainforest Alliance certification is based on the three pillars of sustainability – namely social, economic and environmental factors – which have become increasingly important not only to coffee consumers but also to the industry itself.

According to the organisation, the certification “works to conserve biodiversity and improve livelihoods by promoting and evaluating the implementation of the most globally respected sustainability standards in a variety of fields.”

The independent, transparent verification and auditing procedure gets to the very core of farming and trading, to help ensure that best environmental practices are being adhered to – thereby reassuring buyers of their contribution to sustainability within the trading chain.

The Rainforest Alliance works with companies within forestry, agriculture and carbon / climate sectors, with its vision for “a world where people and the environment prosper together”.

By purchasing coffees from us from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, you can rest assured that it has come from farms where operations are delicately managed to help ensure practices are adhered to which both protect and conserve the environment, and support sustainable trade.

Furthermore, from a social point of view, the organisation helps ensure that workers are trained, have suitable living conditions and proper sanitation, and furthermore the ability to deliver their produce to market where the demand for sustainable produce is ever on the rise.

Coffees sourced by DR Wakefield which come from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms comprise: Brazil (Sweet Collection 16/18 and Sunrise – both specialty Arabicas, perfect for espresso); Guatemala (SHB Monte Rosa & SHB Monte Flor – both specialty Arabicas perfect for espresso, the latter of which is new; SHB Monte Cristo and SHB Pacayilito – both new Arabicas, the latter a gourmet grade); Honduras (SWD Honduras, SHG and SHB EP – all Arabicas, the latter both organic and Fairtrade too); a great number of Arabicas from Nicaragua, the majority of which are specialities; and Peru (MCM SHB EP and SWD Peru MCM – both organic Arabicas).

We also offer a range of other certifications – for example, organic and Fairtrade – as well as our very own recommendations, if you are unsure exactly which coffee is the right one for you.

A ‘The Doctor’s Choice’ coffee means it has been assessed for various attributes – including variety, process, quality and location – after which we have decided to earmark it as a particularly special product, while ‘Gourmet’ coffees will ensure that the beans, once roasted, will produce a cup of coffee worthy of an award.

If you want to try something new, we also have a wide range of different produce coming from all corners of the globe. This season, we have new beans from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Tanzania, Uganda and the US.