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The Rainforest Alliance Announces Follow the Farmer Contest for Follow the Frog Campaign with the Guardian

The Rainforest Alliance has announced the Follow the Farmer contest as part of its popular Follow the Frog campaign.

In partnership with the Guardian, a global leader in digital journalism, Follow the Frog 2014 lives under Vital Signs—a destination platform that features a mix of fresh, educational and interactive content developed by the Guardian’s award-winning team—and the Rainforest Alliance Partner Zone, a branded content platform designed to raise awareness of some of the world’s greatest challenges—including climate change, deforestation, water quality, poverty and gender issues – and encourage choices that contribute to a healthier planet. The 10-month integrated experience is designed to foster engagement with a growing population that cares about sustainability and wants to take action in their daily lives.

The Follow the Farmer contest, open to contestants in the United States, will send two winners to farm and forestry communities in Costa Rica and Mexico. Both winners will have the opportunity to see what it takes to sustainably produce the goods and products we consume on a daily basis and then share their experiences with the Guardian’s global audience.

One winner will take a five-day, all-expenses-paid trip to Costa Rica, where he or she will visit farmers belonging to the CoopeDota Coffee cooperative in Santa Maria de Dota, a small village near the Parque Nacional los Quetzales. The winner will also lend a hand on a flower farm and visit CATIE, a tropical research center, and the site of Costa Rica’s first Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM cattle farm. Another winner will travel on an all-expenses-paid journey to Quintana Roo, Mexico and visit indigenous communities in Bacalar that are working with the Rainforest Alliance’s community forestry program.

To enter the contest, contestants will submit a 300-500 word blog post on what he/she imagines it would be like to meet and interact with someone they believe has made a significant social and/or environmental contribution. The blog entries will be judged based on three criteria: choice of subject, approach and writing ability. Preliminary judging will be conducted by a panel of judges from the Rainforest Alliance who will then post 5 finalists on the Rainforest Alliance Partner Zone on the Guardian website and its social media channels. After a period of public voting, votes will be tallied and the winners announced.

“Through our popular Follow the Frog campaign, we hope to inspire and empower people to live more mindfully by showing them how vital their everyday decisions are to the health of the planet. The Follow the Farmer contest will provide winners with a unique opportunity to experience first-hand the important contributions made by farmers and foresters who are providing all of us with sustainably produced foods and other goods,” said Tensie Whelan, President of the Rainforest Alliance.

Charlie Wilkie, Commercial Senior Vice President for the Guardian said, “We're thrilled to continue our work with the Rainforest Alliance and our partners on the Follow the Farmer contest, a forward thinking initiative that offers our audience an opportunity to get closer to the people and communities who are at the heart of producing the everyday products we often take for granted.”

The contest runs November 17 through December 19, 2014 and the trips will commence in March, 2015. 

Forest canopy - photo by Sergio Izquierdo

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