“Lipton has long been dedicated to bringing the sustainable sourcing of tea into the global mainstream,” said Christine Durkin, Brand Director, Lipton Tea. “As the world’s biggest and best known tea brand, we’ve had a strong commitment to the tea products we make, the tea growers we rely on, and the tea drinkers we serve. All three are set to benefit greatly by this industry-changing work we’re doing in sustainability. We wanted to share this important initiative in a compelling and unique way, and have found the ideal partner in National Geographic.”
In 2007 Lipton set out to lead the industry by committing to purchase all of its tea from sustainable, ethical sources. Since then, the company has worked closely with the Rainforest Alliance, a non-profit conservation organization that works around the world to develop and promote sustainable standards in farming, forestry and travel, to certify as sustainable all of the tea estates that supply its tea. Lipton products bearing the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal will soon be available on store shelves nationwide, including select bagged tea products, as well as Lipton PureLeaf ready-to-drink tea. The majority of Lipton’s tea bag packages sold in the US will carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal by the end of 2010. The brand’s long-term goal is to have all of the tea for its tea bags – globally – sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified estates by 2015. Although Lipton expects to pay a higher price for tea from Rainforest Alliance Certified estates, the price will not change for consumers as a result of the certification, thus reflecting the brand’s belief that all products should be made sustainable.
To mark the launch of Rainforest Alliance-certified products in the United States, Lipton is also partnering with National Geographic to create custom content documenting the brand’s journey and commitment to sustainability. The content, created by National Geographic, includes still photography as well as four videos produced by National Geographic Digital Media featuring National Geographic Television journalist Boyd Matson, who traveled to Kenya this spring to document the sustainability practices of the Lipton Tea Estate in Kericho.
The custom content will be included in a National Geographic online community at www.nationalgeographic.com/lipton. It also will be distributed on a number of National Geographic platforms, such as the National Geographic Channel, Facebook, Twitter, print, direct marketing and customized Nat Geo Mobile iPhone game applications, along with liptont.com.
“Lipton’s commitment to sustainability is impressive,” said Shannon Hebert, vice president, Integrated Marketing, National Geographic Global Media. National Geographic Global Media. “We are pleased to leverage the strength of National Geographic’s integrated multimedia platforms to extend Lipton’s message to our audience in engaging and relevant ways.”
Lipton Tea, the world’s leading tea brand, is available in more than 180 countries worldwide. With more than 100 years of tasting, buying and blending expertise, Lipton Tea provides today’s health-conscious consumer with a variety of convenient, great-tasting, healthy tea products — from hot tea to ready-to-drink to ice tea mixes. Lipton Tea is owned by Unilever [NYSE: UL, UN], one of the world’s largest consumer products companies. For more information, visit liptont.com.
Unilever’s mission is to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Each day, around the world, consumers make 160 million decisions to purchase Unilever products.
In the United States, the portfolio includes major brand icons such as: Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Hellmann’s, Klondike, Knorr, Lipton, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Suave, Sunsilk and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever employs nearly 12,000 people in both the United States and Puerto Rico – generating nearly $10 billion in sales in 2008. For more information, visit www.unileverusa.com.
The National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 360 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit nationalgeographic.com.
The Rainforest Alliance
The Rainforest Alliance is a nonprofit conservation organization that works to conserve biodiversity and protect the rights and welfare of workers, their families and communities. Farms that meet comprehensive standards for sustainability earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified(TM) seal. These standards conserve biodiversity, ensure that soils, waterways and wildlife habitat is protected and that farm workers enjoy decent housing, access to medical care and schools for their children. Farms must commit to a process of continuous improvement in order to maintain their certification and are audited each year to ensure progress is being made. By shopping for products bearing the seal, consumers can support a healthy planet and help to improve the quality of life for farm families.
To learn more about the Rainforest Alliance, visit their Web site at www.rainforest-alliance.org.