INTERNATIONAL. Giving back to those in need and helping to sustain our planet are key components of this month’s Virtual Travel Retail Expo (11-15 October).

In line with that principle, The Moodie Davitt Report is set to make major contributions to cleft charity  Smile Train and the Trinity Forest Project and One Tree Planted sustainability projects. In addition, Ocean Bottle has been named Sustainability Partner at the Expo, pledging to rid the ocean of the equivalent of 500,000 plastic bottles as a direct result of the Expo presence. That’s the equivalent of a hefty 5,000kg of ocean waste.

The Moodie Davitt Report will again fund a cleft operation through Smile Train for every paid exhibitor at this year’s Expo and plant a tree in support of the The Trinity Forest Project for every registered visitor.

The Moodie Davitt Report’s renewed commitment to the non-profit organisations follows substantial donations to Smile Train and the Trinity Forest Project after last year’s inaugural virtual event.

“We see such programmes not as a duty but as an honour,” said The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie. “While many organisations have reduced their commitment to such vital organisations during the pandemic, we have actually stepped up ours, something of which we are proud.

“Anyone who has visited a Smile Train cleft ward, as I have on several occasions, is deeply moved by the beautiful simplicity of their work. That so many cleft children are left untreated in emergent countries is a stain on humanity and we are passionate about continuing our support for this outstanding organisation. With The Trinity Forest project and together with Ocean Bottle, we are also continuing to do our utmost to support the sustainability of our dangerously compromised planet.”

As reported, US$28,000 was set aside to fund 112 cleft operations and more than 4,250 trees were planted, underlining the fact that travel retail – and the Virtual Travel Retail Expo – are about far more than commerce.

The Moodie Davitt Report has once more pledged to fund a cleft operation through Smile Train for every paid exhibitor at this year’s Expo

It is estimated that some 170,000 babies in the developing world are born every year with cleft lips and/or palates. US$250 funds the cost of the simple 45-minute cleft surgery that transforms the life of a child – and that of their families.

Smile Train Senior Vice President International Development Troy Reinhart expressed his delight that Smile Train is once again a charity recipient for the 2021 Virtual Travel Retail Expo. He explained how Smile Train, in collaboration with The Moodie Davitt Report, is “changing the world one smile at a time”.

The Trinity Forest Project, launched at The Trinity Forum in Doha in 2019, is powered by One Tree Planted. With a ‘One dollar. One tree’ tagline, the organisation is focused on global reforestation.

Ocean Bottle aims to help stop ocean plastic pollution at the source and simultaneously improve the lives of millions of people. In a recent interview with The Moodie Davitt Report, Co-founder Will Pearson said that ocean plastic is expected to quadruple by 2040. “We need to act fast if we are to have an effect. The Virtual Travel Retail Expo is the ideal place to get our message across to those in the travel and travel retail business,” he commented.

“I see this as a plastic positive event to raise participants’ awareness to the problem, get them involved in the journey to reduce single plastic consumption and become part of our global impact.”

Ocean Bottle collaborates with Plastic Bank, an initiative which aims to empower a regenerative society – “turning plastic into gold” – by revolutionising the world’s recycling systems.