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Martin Ambassador James Valentine Joins the #FollowTheFrog Campaign to Raise Awareness of Forest Sustainability

New York, NY – February 15, 2017 – World-renowned manufacturer of acoustic guitars and strings C.F. Martin & Co. (Martin Guitar) launched today the second phase of its activation for the Rainforest Alliance #FollowTheFrog campaign to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable wood sourcing. The activation, which kicked off in 2016, has used Martin’s social media platforms and website to chronicle the manufacturing of a guitar crafted with wood certified by the Rainforest Alliance for meeting the strict standards of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®).  The finished guitar was recently presented to Martin Ambassador James Valentine of Grammy Award-winning group Maroon 5, who will use the guitar in performances and to promote the importance of sustainability practices. Martin Guitar has proudly sourced FSC certified wood, resulting in guitars certified by the Rainforest Alliance, for over two decades and has been a prominent leader in responsible guitar building practices.

FSC certified guitars must comply with the most rigorous social and environmental standards on the market, including using woods from forests where ecosystems, wildlife and communities are protected.

“I always look forward to getting a new guitar but this one is particularly special and meaningful,” said James Valentine.  “The #FollowtheFrog guitar created by Martin sends a powerful message that when we buy something, we need to care about where it came from and how it was made.  I know Martin cares deeply about the impact they have on the environment, which makes me very proud to be associated with them and play their guitars.”

Valentine will play the guitar in public performances as part of the campaign and will post about it on his social media platforms.  The campaign is designed to drive attention to Martin’s longstanding commitment to the environment and its collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance for over two decades to protect precious forests through responsible forest management.

The Rainforest Alliance’s annual #FollowTheFrog campaign is this year a centerpiece of the organization’s 30th anniversary, which is being marked with activities throughout 2017.  #FollowTheFrog engages companies and consumers around the globe in the Rainforest Alliance’s sustainability mission and communicates the positive impact of products that carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal. Martin Guitar is especially proud to be engaged with #FollowTheFrog to help celebrate the Rainforest Alliance’s three decades of positive impact.

In the first phase of the campaign, Martin Guitar’s multiple social media platforms and corporate website allowed people to #FollowTheFrog throughout the journey of the instrument’s production, from conception to the final stage of adorning it with the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal, featuring the organization’s iconic tree frog inside the guitar.

 “We at Martin take tremendous pride making our guitars with not only a high degree of craftsmanship but also a high degree of stewardship when it comes to protecting our natural resources,” said Chris Martin IV, Chairman and CEO, Martin Guitar.   “The guitar that James will play is a wonderful representation of this commitment and our valued partnership with the Rainforest Alliance to help us achieve this mission.  We encourage all in the Martin family—artists, customers, distributors, dealers—to ‘Follow the Frog’ and share this campaign with others.”

“The Rainforest Alliance is proud to have a longstanding collaboration with Martin Guitar, a company that shares our commitment to sustainability, and we are proud, too, to have the support of James Valentine,” said Nigel Sizer, President of the Rainforest Alliance. “Martin Guitar is a family-owned business, and they understand that all people are one family, and we share one home – planet Earth.  The everyday actions of people and companies together make a meaningful difference in protecting our resources and our planet.”

To learn more about the campaign, please visit www.martinguitar.com/followthefrog

About Martin Guitar & Martin Strings
C.F. Martin & Co. ® (www.martinguitar.com) has been creating the finest instruments in the world for 184 years.  It continues to innovate, introducing techniques and features that have become industry standards, including X-bracing, the 14-fret guitar and the “Dreadnought” size. One of the world’s leading acoustic instrument makers, Martin guitars are hand-made by skilled craftsmen and women, who use a combination of new design and techniques, along with those introduced by the company founder.

The company is also known for producing high-quality, popular acoustic guitar strings.  These include the successful Martin SP® LIFESPAN® the fastest-growing treated string in the industry, the exciting new Retro® Strings line played and loved by Tony Rice and Laurence Juber and the Martin SP line, which uses an industry leading core wire to hold tunings better.

Martin guitars and Martin strings are the instruments and strings of choice for musicians around the world, from the icons of rock, pop, country, folk and bluegrass to those just beginning their careers.  They can be seen across all segments of pop culture, from television to movies, Broadway, books, online, and gracing the covers of popular magazines on newsstands everywhere. Connect with Martin and Martin Strings on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and via www.martinguitar.com and www.martinstrings.com.

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ABOUT THE RAINFOREST ALLIANCE
The Rainforest Alliance, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2017, is an international nonprofit organization that works around the world to conserve forests and natural resources while advancing sustainable livelihoods. The Rainforest Alliance collaborates with foresters, farmers, businesses and workers to build healthy communities, protect habitat, and rebalance the Earth. This impact is achieved through a focus on transforming land use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior.  To learn more about the Rainforest Alliance, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.  To read more about #FollowTheFrog, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org/followthefrog.

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