fresh x UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Program

Brittan Bates

Global Brand Storytelling

4 min read

Our Impact

Learn about our partnership to preserve biodiversity on Mauritius island.

fresh x UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Program

As a brand, fresh is known for traveling to the ends of the earth in search of potent ingredients from nature. That’s how we discovered our powerful Mauritius tea with its unique adaptive properties. We source our tea from the Bois Chéri Tea Farm on Mauritius, known as “the pearl of the Indian Ocean,” and we are committed to helping protect this island’s rich ecosystem. That’s why the brand decided to partner with the Man and Biosphere (MAB) UNESCO Program, an intergovernmental program that promotes economic development that is socially appropriate and environmentally sustainable.1

Biodiversity 101

To fully understand this partnership, it helps to know a bit about biodiversity. Biodiversity is the variety of all living things – plants, animals, fungi, and even microorganisms – that make up our natural world. Each of these species works together in complex ecosystems to maintain balance and support life. But much of the world’s biodiversity is in danger. For example, there are 500,000 estimated plant species today,2 but two in five of these species are believed to be threatened with extinction.3 And 60% of terrestrial wildlife has been lost in the last 50 years.4

Mauritius is part of a biodiversity hotspot that includes Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands. A biodiversity hotspot is an area on Earth that’s particularly dense in biodiversity – and under threat. To qualify as a biodiversity hotspot, a region must meet two criteria:5

  • It must have at least 1,500 endemic vascular plants – that means a high percentage of plant life found nowhere else on the planet.
  • It must have 30% or less of its original natural vegetation.

Biodiversity hotspots are among the richest ecosystems in the world. As the places where the most biodiversity is in the most danger, these hotspots are critical to human survival.

What is fresh doing?

The Bois Chéri Tea Farm, where fresh sources its powerful tea, is located next to the Mauritius Black River Gorges Bel Ombre Biosphere Reserve. Biosphere reserves are testing sites for interdisciplinary approaches to sustainable development. Internationally recognized land, marine, and coastal ecosystems, biosphere reserves provide local solutions to global challenges.6

fresh is partnering with UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) Program in Mauritius to restore three endemic plant species that are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list – meaning they are at risk of extinction. fresh will be providing resources to help preserve and safeguard these plant species that are important to the island’s ecosystem. The three plant species were identified and selected with support from the National Parks and Conservation of Mauritius and include the official country flower. The long-term goal of this partnership is to remove these species from the IUCN red list.

fresh is honored to be able to give something back to this remarkable island that has given us so much. Our sustainability efforts in Mauritius and worldwide are aimed at helping biodiversity thrive. By protecting biodiversity, we are working to ensure a future that is forever connected and forever fresh.

  3. Antonelli, A.; Smith, R.J.; Fry, C.; Simmonds, M.S.J.; Kersey, P.J.; Pritchard, H.W.; Abbo, M.S.; Acedo, C.; Adams, J.; Ainsworth, A.M.; et al. State of the World’s Plants and Fungi; Research Report; Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew); Sfumato Foundation: London, UK, 2020
  4. COP15 data
Author Profile
blog author Brittan Bates

Brittan Bates

Global Brand Storytelling

Written by Brittan Bates for Fresh. Brittan is an NYC-based writer, editor, and storyteller with 9 years of experience spanning digital and print journalism, copywriting, brand strategy, and more. Her work has appeared in publications such as Teen Vogue and brands including Diane von Furstenberg, abc carpet & home, FRĒDA SALVADOR, and more.