If you are someone who sips on a hot cup of tea in the morning to start your day or on a cold winter night for some warmth, then you’re living life right. However, you can take it up a notch by choosing to purchase your tea leaves from tea brands that are fair trade certified.
The Tea Industry
Out of all of the beverages consumed, tea is one of the most popular, widespread, and prevalent ones out there. The tea industry is incredibly large and vast, with a variety of blends available on the market. Unfortunately, with an industry as large as the tea industry, you might be able to get your hands on tea leaves that are readily available and cheap. However, they are, more often than not, sold at the expense of children. This is because the tea industry is notorious for its use of child labor and forced labor. It has been reported in countries such as Uganda and India that children are made to work for 8 hours a day, having to pluck and carry up to thirty-kilogram loads, all without a break. This horrific reality has led to those children suffering from cuts, bruises, skin diseases, chest infections, back problems, and more.
Fair Trade Tea Brands
After being aware of this rampant abuse, it is our responsibility as consumers to help create a better future for the children and farmers of the world by avoiding purchasing tea leaves of brands that partake in such heinous practices. This is exactly where fair trade certified tea brands come in. Those tea brands that have gained fair trade certification uphold both safety and health standards for their workers. They are also required to pay their workers fair wages and are do not use child labor. Fair trade certified tea brands are also known to give back a portion of their profits to organizations and projects that work for the betterment of society. So, to help you make the best decisions as a consumer of tea and a citizen of this world, here is a list of fair trade certified tea brands.
1.0 Sacred Blossom Farms
Ethics – Fair trade certified, biodynamic practices in farming, and organic
A small-scale tea farm that is located in Wisconsin, Sacred Blossom Farms is known for its production of herbal teas without the use of any herbicides, pesticides, or even flavor additives. This fair trade tea brand has incredible farming practices, which can easily be described as innovative, sustainable, and low-input. They are essentially on a journey to grow tea leaves by mimicking practices you would see in the natural systems of this world, which means that they rely upon and maintain the natural fertility of the land upon which they grow and harvest their tea leaves. These practices include hand-scale harvesting, use of strategies for inter-seeding, minimal tillage, intensive cover-cropping, and more. That is not all; they are also known to track any and every input, from the tangible ones down to the fuel used for their tractors. Apart from that, they are also planning on launching their product in packaging that is free of plastic and is biodegradable.
Ethics – Fairtrade certified, compostable packaging, small-batch farmers used for sourcing, and donations
Outwoken is a fair trade tea brand that has a mission to put the people and this planet first, which is why they are known to only source their materials from small-batch farmers and package their product in compostable packaging. Their business model is incredibly sustainable and includes the creation of unique tea blends, which you wouldn’t be able to find on the market, such as Chocolate Besos, Purple Kenyan Tea, a mix of Colombian coffee, black tea, and many more.
3.0 Art of Tea
Ethics – Fair trade certified and USDA certified organic tea.
When choosing the products by Art of Tea, you can rest assured that you have got your hands on some quality and top-tier organic tea leaves. This fair trade certified tea brand is known for its loose-tea leaves, which are also eco-friendly. They offer a wide variety of tea blends, so you won’t ever have to worry about not being able to find the tea leaves of your choice. Their tea options include herbal, caffeine-free, black, yerba mate, green, and more. That is not all; the Art of Tea is also known for its excellent use of different notes, such as the use of floral, fruity, refreshing, citrus, and crisp notes.
4.0 Equal Exchange
Ethics – Fair trade certified, USDA certified organic tea and co-operative worker structure
Equal Exchange is an incredibly well-known and well-reputable fair trade certified company, which dabbles in creating several types of products while using fair trade practices, which include tea leaves, coffee, and chocolates. It is a particularly unique company as it is worker-owned and is only known to source its products through ethical means. Their cooperative worker-owned structure signifies that their farmers and their workers have a voice and are also given the authority to vote in regards to the way they operate. Equal Exchange places a significant amount of focus on their social responsibilities within their supply chain, which is why they always uphold fair trade standards, stabilize or increase the wages of their workers, and are always maintaining and promoting safe working conditions and farming practices.
Ethics – Fair trade certified, USDA certified organic tea, and use of regenerative practices.
Guayakí is a fair trade certified tea brand that takes organic tea to a whole other level with the use of regenerative practices. They are known to be a part of the Regenerative Organic Certification Pilot Program, which proves their dedication and commitment towards maintaining and upholding sustainability. That is not all; with the use of such practices, this fair trade tea brand is contributing to the preservation of the South American Atlantic Rainforest. Not to mention that they also help promote self-sufficiency in indigenous communities.
You can also read: What Is Fair Trade and What Is the Goal of Fair Trade Product Marking?