Trading Above Fairness
Trading Fairly is practiced by default in specialty tea companies like ours. We pay among the highest prices for leaf purchased because orthodox leaf (not broken leaf or fannings) commands the highest premiums. Even so, we were one of the first tea companies (among the first 5) in the United States to join the Fair Trade Tea movement and became certified for some of our teas.
The term Fair Trade ought to be understood from all perspectives. The international fair trade organization still has only a handful of tea gardens and farms covered in its certification process. Small scale farmers and gardens also choose to either bypass the complexities involved or are simply not interested nor incentivized in the movement as they already command high premiums for their specialty leaf. Debate in the industry includes making sure non-certified small scale farms are not bypassed by bigger tea corporations that have the resources for fair trade certification.
Our work focuses on spreading the awareness of the fair trade movement, encouraging people where we can, but most importantly, on supporting those small scale farmers who need the most help for survival. Our work in this area continues to evolve and we are happy to share with you case examples where our direct actions have had tangible results.
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