Investigación de las RAS sobre certificación de café en Colombia

Impacts of Rainforest Alliance Certification on Coffee Farms in Colombia

May 2013

The Rainforest Alliance awarded its first Colombian coffee farm certification in 2004 through its local partner organization, Fundación Natura. By the end of 2009, more than 2,100 farms in Colombia, covering 12,400 hectares, had achieved certification— many of them concentrated in the Santander and Cundinamarca regions.1 This rapid growth, combined with the longevity of many of the certificates and the presence of an accessible noncertified control group, created an opportunity for the Rainforest Alliance to examine the outcomes and impacts of its work in this region.

To this end, the Rainforest Alliance contracted Cenicafe,2 a Colombian coffee research institute, to carry out four studies to evaluate the impacts of certification on water quality, soil quality, farmer livelihoods and arboreal mammals. The first three studies are farm-based, meaning that they compare a large sample of certified and noncertified farms. These three studies were carried out in the Colombian states of Santander and Cundinamarca. The fourth study examines the habits and movements of night monkeys and other arboreal mammals within their home ranges to draw conclusions about the usefulness of shaded coffee farms as habitat. This study was carried out in Santander.

Completed in 2010, the study results are summarized below and presented in detail in the body of this report, along with observations about the complexities of measuring impact.


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