As the CEO of a shark diving company I have, over the past decade, become a conservationist. Mainly because I have seen first hand the loss of Blue sharks on the west coast off California.
It is not hyperbole, they have gone from waters once teeming with them, finned never to return.
As a conservationist I often play a role in changing perceptions. I am also frequently amazed at lost opportunities both in the conservation world and within the business world to effect conservation change.
Case in point this beer. Called Caguama, it is made in El Salvador and marketed and imported into the U.S.
I was going to try a case yesterday because of the turtle on the bottle and the write up about the beer, until I read it:
"Legend has it the fishermen of Central America sought the Great Loggerhead Turtle in warm tropical waters. It was tribal belief that this powerful turtle also known as the "Caguama," symbolized good fortune for the fisherman's village. It is our hope that you too will experience the good fortune of the Caguama when you experience this award-winning Latin beer. "
Now in the parlance of fishermen the term "sought" is kinda like the bibles "begat". As a fisherman you do not seek wildlife in the ocean to pat it on the head, put a garland of flowers around it, and let it go. In fact Latin America has a long and destructive history of turtle fishing and habitat destruction.
With Loggerheads endangered, I had hoped the side of this beer I was considering purchasing might have said something to that effect, even offered a small donation to one of the many South American NGO's trying to save these critters.
Would I purchase that beer? You bet.
Would it be too preachy or would the consumer be turned off by simple messaging? I don't think so.
"Legend has it the fishermen of Central America sought the Great Loggerhead Turtle in warm tropical waters. It was tribal belief that this powerful turtle also known as the "Caguama," symbolized good fortune for the fisherman's village. Today, Caguama Beer is saving Loggerheads for future generations by supporting Central American NGO's who are resorting habitat, and providing safe sanctuaries for eggs and hatchlings. It is our hope that you too will experience the good fortune of the Caguama when you experience this award-winning Latin beer."
Small changes make a difference in the minds of consumers, and small changes like this one would also have turtle NGO's in the region promoting this beer above all others, free marketing, and a win for both conservation and the turtles.
Sadly, I bought a case of Corona instead. Corona does care about wildlife, and they are not trying to market anything but a Mexican beer with a slice of lime in it.
At the end of the day, if you're going to do something, do it right, and don't market endangered species with the hopes that folks like me will buy into it.