GH to plug 'ethically grown' Kraft coffee

Kraft, the world's second-largest food and beverage company, is embarking on a Europe-wide PR campaign to highlight the ethical provenance of its coffee.

Kraft coffee brands, including Kenco in the UK, are sourced from New York-based Rainforest Alliance-certified sites as part of the Rainforest Alliance coffee certification program. The firm has hired Golin Harris to underscore this link.

PRWeek understands the agency will seek to place articles in the UK, France, Germany, Sweden and Italy highlighting the Alliance's work and establishing a link with Kraft brands.

Both Kraft, which is notoriously cagey about its PR support, and GH declined to comment.

Large firms are now clamouring to position themselves as ethically sound. The move by Kraft, formerly part of the Philip Morris group, into ethically sourced coffee caused consternation three years ago. The fact that Kraft chose the then little-known Rainforest Alliance over the Fairtrade Mark - the world's biggest and most recognisable Fairtrade guarantee - was evidence, critics claimed, that Kraft was attempting to co-opt the Fairtrade cachet without embracing its ethical credentials.

But Kraft is keen to show that its work with the Rainforest Alliance is worthwhile. Rival Nestlé launched Fairtrade coffee brands in the UK in 2005.

The 20-year-old Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and by attempting to change consumer behaviour.

The not-for-profit operation was founded 1987 by five individuals, but now works with Kraft, Chiquite, Expedia and Goldman Sachs among other firms.

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