GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED – CONGRATS NARELLE!
I never used to drink tea. I didn’t even drink coffee until I first started college and was infatuated with the city coffee shop culture. It was something about the idea of hot drinks, I think. Even now I can’t drink a cup straight away, I have to leave it until it’s tepid and then drink it super fast before it gets too cold.
Now, very night after dinner Lily asks me “cuppa tea? Bikkie?” I bought arrowroot biscuits specifically to have with my evening tea and Lily always has to have one too. I’ve been banned by Mr Monkey from buying any more tea cups (I only have two!!) and on these cold, wet days lately I’ve even been sneaking in a few afternoon cuppas as well.
I’ve posted before about how important living sustainably is to me. I will take any little step I can to ensure the world is still as wonderful when Lily is older and I hope I can teach her to do the same.
The recent Lipton Sustainable Australia 2012 report reveals that nearly three quarters (74%) of Australians have purchased certified/sustainable products in the past three months. Yet nearly half (43%) are cynical of products with sustainable claims and only one in seven (15%) think it’s easy to identify products with sustainable certifications.*
I know I too can be a bit sceptical when I see “enviornmentally friendly!”, “organic!”, even “certified sustainable!” on products. How can you really know?
Well, I had the opportunity to ask Mercedes Tallo, Director of Sustainable Value Chains at the Rainforest Alliance a few questions via email recently. Hopefully the world of sustainable products will be clearer for you.
1. Can you please explain what the Rainforest Alliance does?
The Rainforest Alliance is an international sustainable development organisation. For the past 25 years we’ve been working with foresters, farmers and tour operators to encourage the take up of sustainability practices. We teach farmers to protect their environment, care for their workers and farm community and help them earn more from their land by reducing their costs, improving yields and improving the quality of their crops.
Rainforest Alliance Certified farms are committed to continuous improvements in each area of the standards. Farmers learn how to improve their productivity and reduce costs by reducing pesticide use, eliminating waste and introducing better farming techniques. Workers earn decent wages and have access to good housing, education and healthcare. And the environment on which these farms depend is protected.
2. What exactly does Sustainability mean and why is it important for our environment?
Sustainability can be difficult to define. For the Rainforest Alliance, sustainability is about creating quality – a quality of life for farmers, farm workers, their families and the local communities; a quality environment for wildlife and farms to flourish in; and a quality crop that generates a good price at market.
3. How do farms, products, companies etc become Rainforest Alliance certified? How strict is the certification?
Rainforest Alliance certification applies to farms only. To earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal farmers have to meet a rigorous set of standards established by the Sustainable Agriculture Network (you can read the standards in detail here.) The standards cover ten principle areas, include more than 100 criteria and strike a balance between environmental protection, social welfare and economic viability. Farms are audited annually to ensure compliance with the standards.
Companies earn the right to use the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal on their products by proving to the Rainforest Alliance that they are purchasing from certified farms using our online traceability system.
4. Do you feel that more has to be done for companies to create more sustainable goods? What do you think can be done?
In the past few years we’ve seen some terrific sustainability commitments from global companies like Lipton’s parent company Unilever. In 2007 Unilever committed to sourcing all the tea for their Lipton tea bags worldwide from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms by 2015. This year, three years ahead of schedule, Lipton’s Quality Black tea is fully sourced from certified farms. But while some companies are coming to sustainability themselves as a way to ensure they can continue to provide a quality product for consumers for many years to come, others start their sustainability journey because of the demand from their consumers. We need both. Innovators and leaders in the business world and consumers that ask tough questions and demand sustainability from the brands they love.
5. Can you please provide some examples of ways that Australian families can become more sustainable?
Even small changes can make a big difference; like switching off the lights to save electricity; recycling at home; and when in the supermarket, looking out for certified sustainable products with the green frog seal, like Rainforest Alliance Certified Lipton tea.
Lipton Rainforest Alliance Certified Black Tea
Lipton sent me some of their Black Tea to try before running this giveaway as I’ve never really had any Lipton tea before. I also gave some to my parents and to my parents-in-law to try as well. The first thing they said, and I noticed, is how awesome the packaging is! The boxes are now separated into foil packs of 25 tea bags, meaning that you are only exposing some of the bags to the air at a time and the rest stay fresh. Genius!
I normally drink green tea so was a little hesitant to try the black tea but was pleasantly surprised. I started substituting it with my evening cup of green tea and I added a teaspoon of honey and a squirt of lemon juice. Yum! Plus with cold and flu season on us it was an excellent tonic for the sore throat I had brewing.
My favourite part? The cute little Rainforest Alliance frog on the tab of each tea bag! Isn’t he gorgeous? It’s a simple, little reminder that each cup is making a difference and I have to admit I feel quite proud each time I make a cup of tea.
Lipton Eco Tea Set Giveaway
So I’m sure you’re all excited to try some fully sustainable Lipton Black Tea now? Well, one of you have the chance to win some! The lovely folk at Lipton have given me a Eco Tea Set to giveaway to one of you!
I have to say, I’m actually quite jealous. This is an awesome prize!
You can go in the chance to win:
♥ Eco kettle
♥ Lipton Quality Tea pack
♥ Cup and saucer
To enter please fill use the Rafflecopter widget below. Make sure to answer the question! Entires close at 2pm AEST next Wednesday, 20th June, 2012.
Terms and conditions: The Flying Drunken Monkey’s Lipton Eco Tea Set giveaway will be judged on creativity and originality. The competition opens Wednesday, June 13th at 2.00pm AEST and closes on Wednesday, June 20th at 2.00pm AEST. Australian entries only, sorry. There is 1 prize pack to be won. The winner will be notified via email and published on this blog. Entries remain the property of The Flying Drunken Monkey and may be republished. For full competition terms and conditions, click here.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts are my own. I received some Lipton products to review in conjunction with running this giveaway.
*About the research:
• AMR conducted n=1040 online surveys with Australian consumers aged 18 years and over
• Fieldwork was conducted between 15th and 26th March 2012
• Data was weighted to be representative of the Australian population according to ABS population statistics (by age, gender, location)
• The online methodology was in line with 2008 study to ensure results are comparable