Rainforest Alliance-certified coffee output jumps to record high in 2013

NEW YORK, April 25 Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:09pm EDT

NEW YORK, April 25 (Reuters) - Rainforest Alliance said on Friday, the amount of coffee grown on its certified farms rose by 20 percent in 2013, making up a record 5.2 percent of global bean output as companies like McDonald's Corp ramped up purchases.

In 2013, 454,962 million tonnes (1 billion lbs) of the world's coffee was grown on Rainforest Alliance certified farms, with increased demand from companies such as McDonald's USA, McDonald's Canada, Second Cup and Green Mountain Coffee driving the growth.

New York-based Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade USA are two of several international commodity auditors such as Fair Trade International and Utz. Each has its own regulations to ensure that agricultural products are grown in a way that will not harm the environment while promoting socio-economic growth with premium payments that are typically passed along to consumers.

In 2012, Rainforest Alliance's certified coffee production grew by 45 percent from a year earlier and made up 4.5 percent of global output.

Meanwhile, Fair Trade USA certified coffee imports saw the impact of Central America's worst-ever leaf-rust disease outbreak. Its primarily North American imports fell last year to around 154 million lbs, down from the previous record set in 2012 at 163 million lbs, the Oakland, California-based auditor said in an email to Reuters. (Reporting by Marcy Nicholson, editing by G Crosse)

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