From the Rainforest Alliance website
Rainforest Alliance Certified means:
Less water pollution as all sources of contamination (pesticides and fertilizers, sediment, wastewaters, garbage, fuels and so on) are controlled.Less soil erosion as farms implement soil conservation practices such as planting on contours and maintaining ground cover.
Reduced threats to the environment and human health as the most dangerous pesticides are prohibited, all agrochemical use is strictly regulated, farmers must use mechanical and biological pest controls where possible and strive to reduce both the toxicity and quantity of chemicals used.
Wildlife habitat is protected as deforestation is stopped, the banks of rivers are protected with buffer zones, critical ecosystems such as wetlands are protected and forest patches on farms are preserved.
Less waste as farm by-products such as banana stems, coffee pulp, orange peels and un-marketable foliage are composted and returned to the fields as natural fertilizer. Other wastes, such as plastics, glass and metals are recycled where possible.
Less water used as water conservation measures are applied in washing and packing stations, housing areas and irrigation.
More efficient farm management as the certification program helps farmers organize, plan, schedule improvements, implement better practices, identify problems and monitor progress.
Improved conditions for farm workers -- who are getting fair wages, decent housing, clean drinking water, sanitary facilities and a safe and wholesome work area. Workers and their families have access to schools, health care, transportation and training.
Improved profitability and competitiveness for farmers who have increased production, improved quality, reduced worker complaints and increased worker efficiency. The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal of approval gives the farmers more leverage at the time of sale, product differentiation, premium prices and improved access to credit.