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Do you know what people worldwide are drinking most, after drinking water? You've got it. Tea.
Tea is grown for thousands of years already, as it was being used as a medicinal crop in China 5000 years ago.
Nowadays, tea is the heart of a massive worldwide multi-billion industry, of which many millions of people are dependent.
So there is a lot of money being earned. By big and influential companies that dominate the tea value chain.
So if these enterprises are dominating, how much money is earned by the employees and small farmers who grow the tea?
Not so much, as it turns out.
Employees and farmers are underpaid notoriously.
They don't earn a fair income. An income big enough to live from with their families.
The large companies and intermediaries have such purchasing power on tea auctions, that they can often influence the demand, and thus price, of particular qualities and types of tea.
And cost pressures are then being paid for by the employees and farmers.
Good initiatives like Fairtrade certification are a step in the right direction. Although certification is an administrative burden for the small farmers as well, eating up a lot of the extra income earned by being Fairtrade.
What is ethical tea?
Below we give a list of tea companies that actually pass the test. The list of setup using research from ethical consumer and our own research
- Hampstead Tea
- Qi Teas
- Hambleden Herbs
- Steenbergs Organic Tea
- Cafédirect Tea (via Ethical Superstore)
- Dragonfly Tea
Below we highlight Valerie and David from Frank About Tea. They are tea lovers. And they saw how this age-old industry works. They felt this should change. So they jumped in!