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Published on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Rainforest Alliance loses Green Tourism support

Green tourism is to withdraw its support for products with Rainforest Alliance frog symbol in the wake of the Indian tea plantation scandal revealed by BBC

Green Tourism The UK based international body, which has thousands of members and affiliates across Britain, Europe, North America, Africa and Australasia, will no longer give businesses credit towards their environmentally friendly assessments for using Rainforest Alliance certified products.

Independent assessors working with Green Tourism will now only count certifications by bodies such as the Forestry Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council, Fair Trade Foundation and organic food certification or local food initiatives, as being ethical and truly environmentally friendly.

The move follows an undercover report by the BBC which revealed very poor workers rights and estate plantation practices in a number of Rainforest Alliance accredited sites.

The investigation by Radio 4's File on Four and BBC News in Assam, north-east India, discovered tea plantation workers living in crumbling houses without proper sanitation.

Conditions among workers, including child labourers, on some of the estates supplying tea to household names such as PG Tips, Tetleys and Twinings were found to be so bad that families were malnourished and vulnerable to a range of deadly illnesses.

Jon Proctor, Chief Executive for Green Tourism, said: "We have decided to withdraw our recommendation and credit provided to hoteliers and tourism operators using Rainforest Alliance certified products until they can demonstrate significant improvements to their audit systems."

"We are seriously concerned by the state of the operations which have been given "ethical" labelling under the Rainforest Alliance and believe the organisation's poor auditing practices have undermined much of the good work done by other eco labels."

Green Tourism assessors grade businesses on 120 measures of good practice before granting a Bronze, Silver of Gold Award which is recognised the world over as symbol of good environmental practices.

Many of the world's top hotels and visitor attractions, including the Ritz, the Savoy, London Zoo, Manchester United, Historic Scotland and Blenheim Palace are members of Green Tourism, along with leading international hotel chains such as Rezidor Hotels, Marriott Hotels, Q hotels, Jurys Inns and numerous independent hotels, guest houses, self caterers and bed and breakfasts.

Valere Tjolle

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  • Two questions

    Adding this story to the Planeta Wiki Two questions: Is there a link to the BBC program? Would Green Tourism and Rainforest Alliance be interested in appearing on camera for a YouTube hangout?

    By Ron Mader, Wednesday, September 16, 2015

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