“Fair Trade helps tea farmers and workers gain access to capital, set fair prices for their products, and make democratic decisions about how to best improve their business, their community and their tea”.
Why is choosing Fair Trade tea so important?
Whether you crave a cup of hot tea on a cold winter morning or a chilled glass on a warm summer day, it all starts with skilled workers on tea farms around the world.
Tea is the most popular drink in the world after water – an estimated 70,000 cups are drunk every second. Yet tea farmers and workers struggle to get a fair deal. Historically, low market prices for tea have led to poor labor and living conditions for both tea garden workers and tea farmers, encapsulating them in a cycle of poverty and hardship. Fair Trade certification seeks to stop this cycle, giving tea garden farmers and workers the chance to lift themselves out of poverty, improve their communities, and protect their environment.
The roots of GavaTea come from a generation of tea farming. After traveling to India and being immersed in the daily life of tea growers, we know the challenges first hand.
Tea is produced on large plantations or estates and picked by employed or contracted workers. It is also grown on small plots of land by smallholder farmers who sell their freshly-plucked green leaf to plantations or tea factories for processing into black tea. Tea farmers face the challenge of low and fluctuating prices for the green leaf they sell, and a lack of power in a tea supply chain dominated by large companies. On tea estates, workers may face low wages, long working hours and a difficult relationship with estate management. They often struggle to meet basic needs such as housing, healthcare and education for their children.
We support the Fair Trade movement, as often those who grow and pick your tea don’t even earn enough to feed their families let alone plan for the future. But when the tea is bought on Fair Trade terms, farmers and workers benefit in many ways, from improved working conditions through to training in how to improve the way they farm and manage their environment to the opportunity to improve healthcare and education in their community.
So, whenever you have a cup of Fairtrade tea from us, you know it’s a ‘good’ cup of tea!
How does Fair Trade benefit the tea producers?
By choosing a Fair Trade certified tea, you can be assured that the workers who grew, tended, picked, and processed those flavorful tea leaves were paid fairly for their labor. Fair Trade Certified tea gardens and farms use their community development premiums to invest in things like healthcare, education, environmental conversation, community infrastructure, quality and productivity. Fair Tade standards include a minimum price which is calculated to cover the costs of sustainable production. The Fair Trade premium is an additional sum designated specifically for estate workers to invest in social projects of their choice.
Fair Trade standards for tea include an origin-specific Fair Trade Minimum Price, which acts as a safety net against the unpredictable market. Standards also include payment of the additional Fair Trade Premium of US$ 0.50/kg black tea, for producers to invest as they see fit. Examples include putting resources into better farming so they can earn more money for their crops, or it could be for education, clean water and clinics for the community.
Tea farmers and workers benefit most when U.S. consumers care about where their tea comes from.
When you look for tea bearing the Fair Trade Certified label, you know that the people who produced it are paid fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, and protect the environment. It’s such an easy thing to do, but can make a huge difference to the farmers and their families.
Fair Trade premiums the tea workers receive from each kilo of tea enable them to invest in their business and their community.
Click here to learn more about our Fair Trade partners