Leonardo DiCaprio Invests in Environmentally Friendly Beverage Company
Leonardo DiCaprio is the newest investor in an organic beverage business and plans to donate his shares back to the indigenous people responsible for farming the product.
The Oscar winner and environmental advocate has joined the advisory board of New York-based startup Runa after making an investment in the fair trade firm.
All of Runa’s products are made from guayusa, a caffeinated tea leaf native to the Ecuadorian Amazon. The plant is sustainably produced by more than 3,000 indigenous farming families – the same farmers who will reap the benefits of DiCaprio’s shares from Runa’s profits.
“I am so proud to join with Runa in supporting the indigenous people of the Amazon,” DiCaprio said in a statement. “The future of these communities, and many like them across the world, are at risk as their native lands are exploited for natural resource and agricultural development. Sustainable farming practices are key to helping ensure a brighter future for so many local people. We must all do everything we can to help indigenous and local people who too often suffer the worst environmental degradation, and are most at risk from climate change.”
“Empowering them to stand up and fight back against the outside interests that threaten their survival is a cause that must be championed,” he added.
DiCaprio isn’t the only celebrity to invest in Runa. Channing Tatum was an early investor, while his Magic Mike co-star Adam Rodriguez and comedian Marlon Wayans have also given funds to the firm.
And in addition to serving on Runa’s advisory board, The Revenant actor has also sat on the boards of environmental organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, Global Green USA, International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Natural Resources Defense Council.