Ep. 94: Han de Groot – CEO, Rainforest Alliance, -ft. cohost: Mike Bellamente – fmr. Executive Director of Climate Counts ||
For Sourcing Matter ep. 94 we welcome Han de Groot, CEO of Rainforest Alliance. The ‘Rainforest Alliance Certified Seal’ is awarded to farms, forests, and businesses that meet rigorous environmental and social standards. Rainforest Alliance operates in 60 countries all over the globe with focus on certifying in five program areas: 1) Sustainable forestry certification, 2) Sustainable agriculture certification, 3) Crop standards and criteria, 4) Rainforest Alliance Certified Seal, 5) Sustainable tourism.
In our 45 minute discussion we learn just how consumers can make accurate and just buy decisions in an increasingly noisy world. Hear Han’s empowerment message to us all: as environmentalists – we use our dollars to vote for the planet through the food we buy. As more trusted scientific resources explain it’ll much comes down to the agriculture systems we employ to feed ourselves moving forward, being an environmentalist 3-times daily is a strong rallying cry which has yet to be fully exercise in diverse food categories. The time seems now.
Han has dedicated his career to sustainable development. After studying economics at the University of Wageningen, he worked for more than 12 years at Oxfam Novib, eventually leading the organization’s work in Eastern and Southern Africa. In 1998 Han joined the Dutch government. From 2005 to 2010, he held various positions at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, including Deputy Director for Nature. Joining as co-host in episode 94 is Mike Bellamente. Mike invested many years helming Gary Hirshberg’s environmental accountability organization. As former Executive Director at Climate Counts Mike gained traction and the attention of huge brands, and over 20K high-impact followers. Bellamente lead this third-party certifier of Green/Sustainable corporate practice into the mainstream – via the wallets and ideology of consumers who care. Mike now uses his developing company ‘Naked Bullfrog’ to empower more consumer engagement throughout their local & regional communities.
It’s been proven; “Natural Climate Solutions” are our cleanest, most pragmatic, and most cost effective way forward. Investing in what Jeremy Grantham has coined as “Natural Capital” – the regenerative soils, tree health, clean oceans, and biodiversity through a paradigm shift in land management is where mankind can be a catalyst in climate stability. Bringing that to the market through something as intimate to us as the food we eat is where Han and team play. As more of us adopt this power to vote with the dollars we spend, I have great hope for what we can all do through food to invest in healthy body and planet.
- Former Executive Director of Climate Counts
- Dir. @ Green Alliance, and owner of Naked Bullfrog
- Ethisphere’s list of 100 most influential people in business ethics