An article from The Guardian describes how some coffee growers in El Salvador are turning to certification from the Rainforest Alliance to differentiate their crop and provide a long term market at potentially higher prices. (A month ago I noted an article from the BBC regarding Rainforest Alliance goals to have coffee farms help provide ecological diversity). Certification from the Rainforest Alliance requires coffee farmers to develop sustainable practices:
The alliance has developed standards for sustainable agriculture, which apply to bananas, cocoa, citrus fruit and flowers as well as coffee. These include community relations and labour conditions as well as environmental aspects such as agrochemical use, water conservation and waste management. It wants to reverse the trend towards monoculture which has seen the destruction of many forests, with repercussions for wildlife, soil and water systems as well as communities.
According to the Guardian article, one of the large buyers from the Rainforest Alliance is Kraft, which may give the certification movement sufficient initial momentum to become a viable part of the world coffee market.