Feel-good Friday: Leonardo DiCaprio backs beverage firm and donates shares to Amazonian families

DiCaprio has been incredibly vocal about the importance of philanthropy and even used his Oscar speech as a way to spread awareness about the environment and climate change.

His latest endeavour to encourage giving has arrived as he has invested in US-based beverage brand RUNA, which sustainably produces products made from guayusa tea leaves in the Ecuadorian Amazon with the help of some 3,000 farming families.

Backing the business has also granted him a seat on the companys advisory board, where he joins World Wildlife Fund president Yolanda Kakabadse, and former US secretary of agriculture and executive director of UNICEF Ann Veneman.

Meanwhile, he has pledged to donate his shares Amazonian communities to make them direct shareholders of the New York-based company.

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DiCaprio said: “I am so proud to join with RUNA in supporting the indigenous people of the Amazon. 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.”

While fellow actor Channing Tatum was an early RUNA investor, DiCaprio was joined in the investment round with a handful of other A-listers including comedian Marlon Wayans, CSI Miami star Adam Rodriguez and tennis players John Isner and Steve Johnson.

RUNA co-founder Tyler Gage said the family spirit of Amazonian communities was the inspiration for the company.

Beyond philanthropy, DiCaprio is full of life lessons and his Oscar speech is a perfect guide on how business leaders can handle broadcast PR interviews.

Image: Shutterstock

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