Saturday, 17 September 2011

Rainforest Alliance Week September 19-23

"Follow the Frog" is this year's strap line to help launch the Rainforest Alliance into the ever growing social networking culture that is taking up more and more of our busy lives.  We just can't get enough social activity.  You only have to look at commuters travelling to and from work.   Instead of reading their traditional broad sheet they have their noses buried, earnestly gazing, into their latest technology that they've spent their hard earned cash on.  So, it is no surprise that RA have gone down this route to help promote their organisation.

Overview: Who and what is the the Rainforest Alliance and what are they involved in?  Well, firstly they're based in New York and have offices in the UK and can be found in many countries around the world.  Over the past two decades they have slowly but surely moved into our everyday lives from that morning cup of tea to that chocolate treat in the afternoon.  You're probably not even aware that you're buying a Rainforest Alliance product.  Next time you pick up a coffee from Costa Coffee look for the little frog logo. 

The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organisation which works to protect biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land use practices, business practices and consumer behaviour.  According to their website, agricultural expansion is responsible for 70% of global deforestation and is the single greatest threat to tropical forests.  The Rainforest Alliance works with farmers helping to produce their crops in a sustainable manner. Their certification process is built on 3 pillars of sustainability - environmental protection - social equity and economic viability - and no one pillar can support long-term success on its own.

In terms of agricultural types, the Rainforest Alliance is involved with coffee, bananas and of course chocolate!  Personally I was particularly interested in the story of Hugo Hermelink and one of my main reasons for purchasing a certified Rainforest Alliance product.  Hugo operates the only certified cocoa farm in Costa Rica.  The chocolate he produces is one of the best ethical chocolates you can find using single origin beans.  To read more about Hugo Hermelink click here

Supporting cocoa production contributes to the conservation of the rainforest.  This is very important because as in many places in the world, the cocoa in Costa Rica is often cultivated under the shade of native canopy trees on a landscape similar to that of a natural forest.  The cocoa plant is protected by the forest and provides a habitat for plant, animal and bird species.  To buy some of the best ethical chocolate buttons in the world click here.   

The Rainforest Alliance Week is dedicated to raising awareness of its brand and the plight of tropical rainforests and how easy it is for you or your company to become involved in this great organisation. Look out for special events, free offers and discounts on Rainforest Alliance products next week. Remember #FollowTheFrog on Twitter.

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