The acquisition of the Rainforest Alliance (RA) certification unit, RA-Cert, by NEPCon has taken a leap forward, following today’s signing of the formal agreement covering all necessary terms for a successful transition.
The agreement follows the public announcement in early February 2018 on the intent for NEPCon to acquire RA-Cert. The agreement was signed with the approval of Boards of Directors from NEPCon and Rainforest Alliance. This will result in unifying resources between NEPCon and RA-Cert’s sustainable certification services, and leveraging our tools and approaches that will enhance our collective impacts on the ground.
The integrated organisation, under the name of NEPCon, will continue to provide all certification, verification and assurance services that both NEPCon and RA-Cert currently deliver.
Peter Feilberg, NEPCon Executive Director stated, “Building on RA-Cert and NEPCon, we are creating a strong global platform for offering certification of sustainable business practices. As a non-profit organisation we will partner with operations of all sizes and ownership to ensure a more sustainable management of our natural resources.”
The RA-Cert transition to NEPCon is expected to be complete during Autumn 2018. Among other things, this includes harmonisation of our services across forestry, agriculture and tourism, and transitioning RA-Cert staff, partners and clients to NEPCon. Our twenty-year history of partnership, our complementary geographic presence for service delivery, as well as our similar systems and structures, will allow for an efficient and stable transition for staff and clients.
Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM (RAC) Seal
Continuing the two decades of collaboration, NEPCon and Rainforest Alliance have an agreed working relationship that permits Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSCTM) and Sustainable Tourism clients to have continued access to the Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM seal. The Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard (SAS) certification programme will continue to offer agricultural clients the seal as already defined in that scheme.
Certified client use of the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal will be part of NEPCon and Rainforest Alliance’s continued collaborative relationship, including synergies on standards development, impacts reporting, and innovations in certification and assurance delivery.
NEPCon and RA-Cert are long-time partners, and we have built many of our auditing tools and systems together. This will help ensure a smooth and effective transition of clients to NEPCon.
Since February, NEPCon and RA-Cert have worked together to lay the groundwork for our integration to ensure our transition will not disrupt normal audit processes. Our intent to join started with a commitment to uphold RA-Cert’s regional delivery of services. Based on this principle, RA-Cert clients will continue to work with the same local representatives and experience virtually no disruption or inconvenience. NEPCon is carving the path to achieve this by establishing new legal entities and physical offices where RA-Cert regional offices are based across Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Laura Terrall, RA-Cert Director said, “Our organisational commitment to unify achieved an exciting milestone this week when leadership agreed to formalise our plans to move forward. We have taken great care to consider how our path into the future will leverage our ability to drive positive change while keeping our teams and clients supported for a smooth transition. I look forward to the coming weeks and months as we continue our tried and true collaboration for sustainability solutions.”
Click here for the info sheet about the acquisition.