New Beverage Nonprofit, REBBL, Seeks to Fight Slavery
High-powered beverage entrepreneurs have been enlisted in the fight against slavery and the result is scheduled to arrive in consumers’ hands in the next few weeks.
Bossa Nova co-founder Palo Hawken – the company was eventually purchased by Sunny Delight — helped develop the soon-to-launch REBBL tea line, which seeks to provide indigenous tribes in the Peruvian rainforest with the means to create a stable business that will allow them to protect themselves from enslavement.
The brand, whose name is an anagram for “Roots, Extracts, Berries, Bark and Leaves” is made from plants common to the ecologically diverse Amazonian rainforest. If the project works, it may eventually spread to other regions of the world where populations are vulnerable to slavery: Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe in particular.
Supporters receive four bottles of the initial run of REBBL for every $35 they donate. The initial goal is to raise $150,000 in a month-long period.
The product – a Hibiscus Mint tea with Maca Root, Cat’s Claw & Guayusa — was the result of a February, 2011 brainstorming session seeking a business model that could be exported to at-risk populations; it was sponsored by the “Not For Sale” cause spearheaded by California-based writer, investor and teacher David Batstone. One team in the session – which, incidentally, included San Francisco Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt, who has received attention for his philanthropic involvement – came up with an idea for harvesting ingredients in the Amazon to create the tea.