A three minute video that does an awesome job of empathizing with people’s experience (guilt for not doing enough) and then giving them something simple they can do to help them get the results they’re after (making a difference and saving the rainforest). Also a great example of offering up a new alternative solution to a problem (their certification process). It also communicates a clear point of view about how to solve the problem (don’t ditch your whole life) and does that in a funny way.
So, in that regards, it’s brilliant marketing.
But not everyone is convinced that it delivers on its promises. On Wikipedia it’s noted that “Rainforest Alliance agricultural certification has been criticized by a range of academics and media sources. The Manchester Evening News notes that critics have dubbed the Rainforest Alliance “Fairtrade lite”therefore offering companies such as Chiquita and Kraft a cheap way to tap into the ethical consumer market.” In other words, greenwashing.
The program has almost come under attack for not offering their farmers a minimum or guaranteed price, not prefinancing the crops and for allowing the use of the seal on coffee containing a minimum of 30% of certified coffee beans and for targeting large and medium coffee plantations, unlike Fairtrade‘s focus on independent coffee farmer cooperatives.
If they really delivered on their promises – this would be a fully brilliant piece of honest marketing.