Mar 252008




Last week the Rainforest Alliance edged closer to stardom – and tea from sustainably farmed sources also hit the big time with the official premiere of A Tale of Two Continents at London’s Prince Charles Theatre in Leicester Square. So my girlfriend and I headed over to the red carpet with some friends and Rainforest Alliance colleagues to join in the fun.The movie is a new 10 minute comedy from Unilever’s PG Tips, who are busy converting their tea to Rainforest Alliance certified, a first for them and indeed for the Alliance. There’s more plot in this film than any recent 2 hour romantic comedy. The sustainable tea project is a very large scale innovation, and another major milestone in the mainstreaming of sustainable produce. Just as Unilever pioneered the Marine Stewardship Council for seafood more than a decade ago, once again they lead the field with tea. The film features my friend and colleague Anita Neville, with whom I’ve worked on Rainforest Alliance issues for the past 3 years or so. She is now so grand she is no longer taking calls. I expect she’s house hunting in Bel Air…Sadly, the other star of the show, iconic PG Tips front man Monkey couldnt join us in person as he was busy picking up awards in Hollywood but he did take a brief moment to speak to us live via satellite and introduce the movie. You can see a trailer clip here…A 5 minute version of the film will appear before The Spiderwick Chronicles, Horton hears a Who, Hannah Montana and Gameplan for the next 3 weeks in cinemas around the UK. And then fans will be able to grab a DVD version (with added extras) and a tea towel from supermarkets during April. The film will then be available as an online download from May.It’s hard to believe how far the Rainforest Alliance has come in the UK in recent years, but last Wednesday’s event was a timely reminder. If you want to see business-NGO collaboration at its best, then this is it.

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