A FAST-FOOD worker swapped burger-flipping for the South American rainforest when she took part in a conservation project.
Katie Holmes, 28, was one of eight McDonald’s employees chosen to visit Costa Rica to get an insight into coffee-farming.
The assistant manager – who works at the Kirkgate restaurant in Huddersfield – was picked after winning a staff competition.
She spent a week in the Tarrazu region where she experienced first-hand the positive impact coffee bean farming is having on the environment and local community.
Katie visited the farms which hold the Rainforest Alliance certification – a scheme which helps farmers build sustainable livelihoods whilst protecting the environment.
She said: “I think it’s really important that my colleagues understand what a positive impact every cup of coffee they serve is having on the environment too.
“The Costa Ricans are so proud of the work they do – coffee is their way of life – and I have great respect for them.
“At work we are continually encouraged to think about our impact on the environment and if all the people who work for McDonald’s reduced their environmental impact it would make a huge difference.
“I make a concerted effort to try to recycle everything now and I’m encouraging my team to do the same.”
The Rainforest Alliance works with companies across the world to protect the natural environment.
The group offers a seal of approval to make it easy for consumers to know they are buying a product that has been grown or made sustainably.
The companies who sell these products also make sure their customers know they are good neighbours in their communities, and that they take care of their workers and protect the environment.