BfG News Issue 21 - Expert View: Your small cup can make a big difference

21 Jul 2009|Added Value

Each month News invites an expert to give us their view on a topical issue. Romain Deveze, Lipton Brand Development – Sustainability team , shares with us their journey to date and their expansion across the United States with the Rainforest Alliance certified seal.

At Lipton, we understand the need for sustainability. But what—exactly—does sustainability entail? The United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainable development as that which ‘meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’

That’s a tall order, but as the world’s leading tea company, we are committed to sourcing all of our tea from sustainably managed farms. That’s why we’re proud that several of our tea farms have earned the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal including our Kericho, Kenya estate. We expect that by 2015 all Lipton tea bags sold globally will have been grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified™ estates.

We have been working with Added Value over the past couple of years to help us understand the best way to express our commitment to our consumers. Using their extensive knowledge of sustainability issues, they advised us on best industry practice and tested concepts with consumers on a range of expressions for both Lipton’s & PG Tips’ commitment with different levels of emphasis given to environmental vs social issues.

We launched “The Small Cup, Big difference” campaign in France and UK in early 2008. Consumer research showed a positive image shift and helped to secure a strategic partnership with McDonald’s outlets in Europe.

So we’re delighted to be undertaking a major expansion of our long term commitment to sustainability. Lipton products bearing the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal will soon be available on store shelves across the United States, including select bagged tea products, as well as Lipton PureLeaf ready-to-drink tea.

To mark the launch, we are also partnering with National Geographic to create custom content documenting our journey and commitment to sustainability. The content, created by National Geographic, features National Geographic Television journalist Boyd Matson, who travelled to Kenya this spring to document the sustainability practices of the Lipton Tea Estate in Kericho.

The majority of Lipton’s tea bag packages sold in the US will carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal by the end of 2010. Yes, we expect to pay a higher price for tea from Rainforest Alliance Certified estates, but we will not pass this onto our consumers as it is our belief that all products should be made sustainable.

To find out more, visit the following website:,22.aspx

The Rainforest Alliance is a non-profit conservation organisation that works to conserve biodiversity and protect the rights and welfare of workers, their families and communities. Farms that meet the standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), an international coalition of leading conservation groups, are eligible to earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal. Rainforest Alliance Certified farms balance the three aspects of sustainability that conserve the environment, protect the rights and welfare of workers, their families and communities and help farms to operate efficiently and cost-effectively.

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