Reporters Followed Our Frog to a Special New York Media EventSeptember 21, 2012
To spread the word about Follow the Frog Week, we invited a group of New York-based journalists to join us for a special media event on Wednesday, September 19, at the Green Space in downtown Manhattan. Writers from Reuters, Whole Living, Food & Wine, The Wandering Eater, Slate and The Examiner, among others, joined us for an evening of delicious appetizers and specialty champagne cocktails and non-alcoholic “mocktails,” made with Rainforest Alliance Certified™ tea from our friends at Lipton®. The good people of La Colombe Torrefaction provided an aromatic brew of Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee. Bouquets of Rainforest Alliance Certified flowers brightened up the space, as well as displays from various companies that use Rainforest Alliance Certified ingredients and materials.
The highlight of the evening was our live web-chat with Diego Llach, a fourth-generation Salvadorean coffee farmer and owner of a Rainforest Alliance Certified farm, Wild Forest Coffee. Diego shared his experience with certification and invited reporters to ask questions. Asked about the impact of certification, Diego said “Rainforest Alliance certification fueled the ecological and social investments that have created a snowball effect in changing the culture of our farms into a responsible farming way of life.”
Our West Africa manager of sustainable landscapes, Christian Mensah, also joined the group via web chat from Ghana. He spoke about his on-the-ground work with cocoa farming communities and addressed some of the greatest challenges of his work, highlighting the difficulty of finding funding for projects.
The night wouldn’t have been complete without a word from our dynamic president Tensie Whelan, who delivered a presentation highlighting the impacts of our work over the past 25 years. She also shared data from our new impact report, Protecting Our Planet: Redesigning Land-Use and Business Practices.
Our guests didn’t go home empty handed. Reporters took home Twig iphone cases made with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)/Rainforest Alliance Certified fiber and boldly stamped with the little green frog seal, along with Clearwater Paper® FSC/Rainforest Alliance Certified facial tissues and copies of Edible magazine.
A few journalists have already shared their impressions from the event. “Last night we got to check out some of the products — from both small startups and large companies — that have earned the Rainforest Alliance seal, like chocolate bars from Bixby & Co. and Dagoba, La Colombe coffee, and Lipton tea,” said Colleen Egan of Whole Living in a new blog. “Plus, we got to hear from a fourth-generation coffee grower in El Salvador and an agricultural expert in Ghana, who shared with us how Rainforest Alliance certification has positively impacted both business and environmental efforts in their countries, proving that the two aren’t mutually exclusive.”
Special thanks to those who helped make our event possible, especially Diego Ilach, Christian Mensah and the good folks at Lipton, La Colombe, Dagoba, Bixby and Co. Chocolate, Domtar and Grow Anthology. Keep following the frog!