UKVENDING AND THE RAINFOREST ALLIANCE
Most people have heard of The Rainforest Alliance and here at UKVending we fully embrace and assist their fantastic efforts in every way we can. For those who have yet to discover how this organisation has the future of Planet Earth at the core of what they do, here is a little bit of a download for you.
Rainforest Alliance was founded in 1986 against a backdrop of deforestation across the globe and the need to preserve what was left of the tropical rainforests. The organisation highlighted the fact that every minute an area of 50 acres are destroyed along with the startling statistic that two dozen species of plant and animal become extinct every single day. Rainforest Alliance was founded by Daniel Katz was committed to finding a better way, a more ecologically sound way and a way that benefited the people who grew the crops that the rest of the world consumed such as tea, coffee, chocolate and exotic fruits.
In 1989 just three years after Rainforest Alliance was started they launched their sustainable forestry program that aimed to conserve the planet’s biodiversity. Much of their work in the early years was focused on Central and South America as well as Indonesia where they assisted in the formation of sustainable forests and farming communities. The reputation of these projects meant that other areas around the world soon came onboard with Rainforest Alliance certifying forests in Honduras, Mexico and Belize in 1991. The following year saw the launch of ‘Adopt a Rainforest’ which channelled funds to grassroots projects in Latin America. The same year saw banana farmers in Costa Rica and Hawaii gain the distinction of being recognised as the First Rainforest Alliance Certified Farms.
For Rainforest Alliance it isn’t just about the farmers and the rainforest they aim to make the whole process part of a sustainable future, even something as alien to this as tourism. They introduced into world culture the concept of eco-tourism where tourist money directly benefits the poorest communities. Their first project was in Costa Rica.
1995 saw the first Coffee Farm in Guatemala becoming the first accredited Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee Farm. In neighbouring Ecuador they worked closely the conservation group Conservacio y Desarrollo and eventually certification of a citrus grove followed.
All throughout the first twenty five years Rainforest Alliance worked to change perceptions and challenge conventions across the western world. They highlighted the inequalities between the rich and the poor and worked to correct this unbalance in the supply chain. In 1998 they created the Sustainable Agriculture Network where they worked closely with the leading conservation groups across Latin America.
The next year it was the turn of El Salvador to taste the benefits of working with the Rainforest Alliance when the Coffee and Biodiversity Project was launched which provided assistance to coffee growers to protect sensitive land in the country and ensure its continued use in producing foodstuffs.
By 2002 more than a thousand global brands had bought into the idea of leading sustainable business practices. By 2015 that number had more than tripled with everyday household names such as Kraft Foods, Mars, Costa Coffee, Tetley Tea, American Airlines, Unilever, McDonald’s, Holiday Inn and Whole Foods Market all joining the campaign. We at UKVending are proud to have added our name to this list too as we firmly believe in the values and aims of The Rainforest Alliance.