The Rainforest Alliance initiates a 30-day sustainability challenge to get citizens everywhere to take three simple steps.
By Dan Bolton
Follow the Frog is an ongoing Rainforest Alliance campaign to engage consumers in supporting businesses with sustainable practices.
This is the organization’s 30th anniversary year and the alliance has stepped up their game with a 30-day sustainability challenge directed at consumers.
The effort drew strong participation from coffee and tea firms on both the local and global stage. In the US Caribou Coffee now serves only Rainforest Alliance (RA) certified coffee, becoming the first major coffee chain in the US to do so. Many smaller coffeehouses are promoting RA coffee as well. The complete list can be found on thefrogbusinessblog.org and includes Allegro, Bixby & Co., Costa Coffee, Kean Artisan Roasters, Skinnygirl, Keurig, Zavida Coffee Roasters, and McDonalds where 37% of the coffee served globally is from certified sustainable sources – of this coffee, 80% is from RA certified farms.
Unilever, the world’s largest supplier of tea, packs only RA certified tea in its Lipton Yellow Label and PG Tips brands and pledges to certify the sustainability of all the tea it produces by 2020. Currently, 66% of the company’s tea is from sustainable sources. To accomplish this Unilever helped train 300,000 growers resulting in higher prices and leading competitors, like The Republic of Tea, to follow.
The Follow the Frog (#FollowTheFrog) campaign that began in January fully employed the RA website, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram social media network. RA’s Facebook page, with nearly a half million followers, paid tribute to the world’s forests with videos and articles describing the current situation. Tea and coffee industry executives displayed enthusiasm for the messaging, endorsing statement such as “Science isn’t an opinion.”
Ashok Batra, who works as the markets transformation consultant at RA, is very adept at making a business case for participation by leveraging consumer support. The organization emailed consumers daily tips and step-by-step guides that consist of three simple steps and inspiring ideas.
As an added incentive, each participant is entered into a drawing for a chance to win a basket of Rainforest Alliance certified goodies, supplied by collaborating companies. Thousands participated.
Learn more: www.rainforest-alliance.org