Statement in response to the SOMO Report from the Rainforest Alliance
The Rainforest Alliance takes the allegations contained within a report, Small Cup, Big Difference by the Dutch research and network organization SOMO very seriously. In response we wish to place the following on record...The standards to which the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms and estates are certified are set by the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN)...When reports of activities or practices that are not in accord with the SAN standards come from an external source, such as SOMO, SAN auditors need concrete information in order to investigate the specific incidences that form the subject of the complaint. We understand the need to protect the identity of workers...However without specifics, a Research Audit can only look for systemic problems by interviewing workers, reviewing records and the direct observation of practices....Even though we did not have any factual information, we carried out Research Audits at the Kericho tea estate and the seven tea estates in India in October and November 2010 due to the serious nature of the allegations. Violations with the certification requirements were not found on these audits.