Our Standards

Standards Development

The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) is the standards-setting organization for the Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM system. The SAN develops the sustainable agriculture standard along with other policies and relevant standards which are applicable to agricultural farms and over 100 crops. The SAN is the oldest and largest coalition of NGOs striving to improve commodity production in the tropics and builds its standards through the development of comprehensive criteria for responsible farm management. Those farms that can meet the criteria are awarded the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal.

To bolster the credibility of the standards, the SAN standards development processes comply with the Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards of the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling (ISEAL) Alliance. The ISEAL Alliance is an association of leading voluntary international standard-setting and conformity assessment organizations that focus on social and environmental issues. ISEAL Alliance members collaborate to build international recognition and legitimacy for their programs. This collaboration represents a significant global movement to promote the interests of workers, communities and the environment in world trade. Through the collaboration of ISEAL members, certification processes are continually improved.

The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) Secretariat coordinates the development and review of standards and related policies for the SAN. Learn more about the 2013 work plan.

The International Standards Committee (ISC)

The Sustainable Agriculture Network's transparency and robustness with respect to standard setting is reflected in the international standards committee (ISC). This independent body decides on the contents of new and revised SAN standards, as well as the geographical scope and length of the international public consultation processes on standard drafts. It assures even more diverse and updated technical input to SAN's standard setting efforts.

The 12 existing members listed below were elected by consensus by SAN's board of directors and govern for a term of two years.

Name Country

Stakeholder Category

Topic of Interest

Ahmed Sidahmed

Sudan/United States


Livestock Management and Rural Development

Chris Wille

United States/Costa Rica

NGO Sustainable Agriculture and Communications

Dorianne Beyer 

United States


Labor Rights

 Eva Mattsson

Sweden Technical

Agriculture and Sustainability

Gail Smith

England Industry

Farm Production

Juan Marco Alvarez

El Salvador/ Switzerland


Biodiversity Conservation and Biofuels

Laura de Santis Prada

Brazil NGO

Sustainable Agriculture Certification

Miguel Araujo

El Salvador Producer

Hazardous Waste Management

Olaf Paulsen

Germany Technical

Agriculture and Sustainability

Ruth Nyagah Kenya Industry Food Safety and Sustainable Agriculture Certification
Shankar Raman India NGO

Biodiversity protection and wildlife management

Uwe Meier

Germany Government

Farm Production and Pesticides

Learn more about the standards development process with this workflow diagram

Please find the SAN´s Technical Governance (PDF) document defining processes and responsilibities for the development and revision of SAN standards and policies. If you have additional questions, please address them at standards@sanstandards.org.

The Sustainable Agriculture Network's effective implementation of its standards and policies is supported by the Technical Operations Committee (TOC). This group is made up of internal system actors and stakeholders and evaluates the rules that guide system operations. It assures that the standards and policies are designed and maintained to achieve a balance for effectiveness and efficiency.

Name Country Expertise

Jon Jickling



Joseph Osei

Ghana, West Africa


Tharic Galuchi

South America


 Mallika Mathew

India, Asia Policies

Issac Gachibi

Kenya Auditing- producer level, Chain of Custody

Christian Rahbek


Auditing-consumer level, Chain of Custody

Claudia Cortes

Colombia SAN Expert, Chain of Custody

Rebecca Sanborn

Global Rainforest Alliance Expert, Chain of Custody