Request for Proposals

SERVICE for Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Alliance is seeking a Consultant to conduct a Literature Review of the Carbon Footprint of Coffee, Tea and Cocoa farms


Summary Information

  • Department: Themes
  • Location(s): Global (anywhere)
  • Commitment: Two months
  • Desired start date and duration: January 25-March 25, 2023
  • Under direction of: Lead, Climate Change


Consultancy Summary

About the Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Alliance, a New York-based 501(c)3, and UTZ, an Amsterdam-based foundation, merged in 2018. Together, the new Rainforest Alliance is now a $70 million per year organization with offices in 17 countries (and growing) and over 500 staff. The merged organization has two main offices—one in Amsterdam and one in New York City.


The Rainforest Alliance is creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities.


We work towards making responsible business the new normal through our certification program, tailored supply chain services, landscape and community work and advocacy.



As part of its Climate Change strategy, Rainforest Alliance is working to enhance carbon sequestration and storage and reduce GHG emissions from farms, landscapes and company supply chains.

In order to strategically target our climate mitigation efforts, Rainforest Alliance is interested in compiling scientific and technical information on the carbon footprints of the main farming systems where we work. Rainforest Alliance would also like to explore the extent to which regenerative agricultural practices can hep reduce these footprints. This consultancy aims to synthesize the existing scientific and technical literature on the carbon footprints of coffee, tea and cocoa farms and provide recommendations of the greatest opportunities for reducing these footprints.


Main Objectives

The main objective of this consultancy is to conduct a detailed review of the existing scientific and technical literature on the carbon footprints of coffee, cocoa and tea farms in the regions where RA works (East Africa, West Africa, Mexoamerica, South America and Asia) and produce a high-quality technical report that could be published as a technical paper and serve as a reference for Rainforest Alliance’s climate mitigation work.


The literature review (and resulting technical report) should focus on answering the following research questions:

  1. What are the carbon footprints of coffee, cocoa and tea production in different regions (East and West Africa, Mesoamerica, South America and Asia) and in different production systems (conventional versus organic, large versus small)?
  2. For each crop, what are the main sources of GHG emissions? What is the breakdown of emissions across key farm management activities (e.g., fertilizer application, fossil fuel use, etc). What are the key opportunities for reducing emissions within farms?
  3. What are the existing carbon stocks and sequestration rates of each crop? And what opportunities are there to increase on-farm carbon stocks?
  4. For each crop, what farm management activities (e.g., organic fertilizer, use of cover crops, agroforestry, etc.) have the greatest potential to enhance carbon removals and reduce emissions?


Contractor Services at a minimum, must include:

  1. Conduct a comprehensive and detailed review of the scientific and technical literature on the carbon footprints of coffee, tea and cocoa.
  2. Summarize and synthesize the information available on carbon stocks, emissions and removal within coffee, cocoa and tea farming systems, including detailed information on the types and locations of studies, sample size, carbon stocks and emissions reported, key factors affecting carbon footprints and the opportunities for reducing these footprints.
  3. Create an excel data base with data on carbon stocks, removals and emissions from scientific and technical papers reviewed
  4. Develop a full bibliography of the papers reviewed




The consultant(s) is expected to produce three deliverables:

  1. A high quality, well-written and detailed technical report that summarizes the information available on carbon stocks, emissions and removals within coffee, cocoa and tea systems in different regions.
  2. The report should include detailed information on the types and locations of studies, sample size, carbon stocks and emissions reported, factors influencing carbon footprints, and emissions reductions opportunities.
  3. The report should be structured as a technical paper, with a short introduction, a description of the methodology used, a results sections summarizing the data (in tables and figures) for each farming system, and a discussion of the key results, data and knowledge gaps, and conclusions.
  4. A bibliography with the complete references of the scientific and technical papers
  5. An excel data base with all of the relevant data from the scientific and technical papers reviewed.



General terms and conditions for Request for proposal

  • Proposals and/or any additional information received after the submission time and date are subject to rejection by The Rainforest Alliance. Incomplete proposals may be rejected by RA at its discretion.
  • The Rainforest Alliance reserves the right to request additional information at any time during the procurement process.
  • RA is at liberty to make multiple or no selections as part of the proposal process. RA also reserves the right to cancel the procurement.
  • All proposal costs shall be borne by the applicant and will not be reimbursed by RA.


Selection Criteria

  • The following selection criteria will be used to assess consultancy proposals:
  • Ability to complete the consultancy by March 25, 2023
  • At least 35 days working time availability
  • Cost
  • Experience in the review of scientific and technical literature
  • Scientific knowledge and experience with carbon accounting (carbon footprints, carbon sequestration and storage) in farming systems
  • Knowledge and familiarity with tea, coffee and cocoa production systems
  • Experience in technical writing and publishing technical or scientific papers


Proposal Process and Format

  • Interested consultants (or consultant teams) should apply to Rainforest Alliance, by January 25, 2023
  • Proposal submission should include 
  • Name of consultant (or team)
  • Short technical proposal/methodology/work plan and timeline for deliverables  
  • Financial proposal:  Fixed price based on deliverables outlined above (Note: Currency in US Dollars)
  • List of previous consultancies or research projects that demonstrate the desired research experience
  • Current CV (s) of consultant or team
  • Contact details of 2 recent references (name, institution, email and phone numbers
  • Finalists will be notified no later than 7 days after closing date of RFP




Thank you for your interest in working with The Rainforest Alliance

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