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Our partners, United Nilgiri Tea Estates Co. Ltd (UNTE), are Fair Trade Certified tea gardens located in South India who has greatly benefited from FairTrade. Thanks to their Fair Trade premiums, UNTE has been able to help fund the higher education of laborers’ children and expose them to new career opportunities.  During our last trip to India we had an opportunity to visit the tea plantations and factory, as well as the school and the hospital they run for their employees and the local community. Education Chamraj, one of the tea estates of UNTE, was Fair Trade certified in 1994, making them one of the first Fair Trade producers in India. The tea estate provides primary and secondary education in both Tamil and English through age 18, to prepare students for college and university. English education is not widely taught in local government schools and is therefore normally very expensive, but parents there only pay a small fee for their children, most of whom are the first generation in their family to regularly attend school.  The school aims to give the children of tea workers and other villagers the opportunities in life that weren’t available to their parents. UNTE used their Fair Trade premiums to build biology, chemistry, and physics laboratory facilities, a lab equipped with 40 computers and a three-story eight classroom multimedia centers. UNTE also purchased buses to help ensure that children who live up to 30km away have the opportunity to attend school every day. Additionally, the salaries of two secondary teachers are partly paid with Fair Trade premium funds. As well as its primary school, Chamraj runs a popular secondary school open to non-estate children from surrounding villages. It has grown rapidly and estate children now only make up 30% of the 1,200 students, 60% of them girls. The school is proud of its academic record and the commitment of its students, demonstrated by its zero drop-out rate and a 100% pass rate in Standard English Medium, necessary for many college courses, which is a huge boost for students’ future career prospects.  The Fair Trade premiums have also helped pay for a hostel for secondary school students who live too far away to travel each day, as well as crèches, and an orphanage. Director of Chamraj, Mr. Gerard Pinto, said:    ‘We have children who have become doctors, engineers, graduates, some of them have gone to the US or Europe and are now directors of global corporations.” When visiting the school, our first thought was “this kids are so lucky. They live and learn in one of the most beautiful places on the planet and don’t even know it”. We were truly impressed by the school facilities: the gardens, the playgrounds, the new indoor gym, the nursery and the art room for the elementary school students. The kids who were outside in recess greeted us with “Hello Sir”, “Hello Mam” in perfect English. We also visited the art lab and met the teacher who showed us the projects children had created from recycled materials: foil, water bottles, paper, canvas bags etc. Speak about sustainability education starting early.   Healthcare The estate’s 60-bed hospital has been equipped with an ultrasound scanner for use in pregnancies, X-ray, ECG, and ultrasound scanning facilities and an operating theatre. Villagers from outside the estate can use the facilities for a small fee and now make up 70% of patients. The excellent facilities mean they receive good quality treatment, reducing the need to make the long trip to the nearest government hospital. Medical insurance is a rare thing among workers in India, so having access to a free or subsidized hospital is a big deal!  Social Provisions   The estate and factory workers have been provided with pressure cookers, gas stoves and gas bottles. Homes have received free satellite TV connections and the community hall has been equipped with furniture.  The pension scheme funded entirely by the Fair Trade premiums, brings much-needed security to retired employees. At 58, tea estate workers typically vacate their estate housing and retire to their home villages where, with just a small annuity and no ready means of income, they face a financially uncertain future. Because children are moving out of the region to pursue their education, they are no longer able to care for their parents in the traditional way. Thanks to the Fair Trade premium, workers receive pensions when they retire to help support themselves financially. Not only do former laborers not need to work, but they are also able to build their own homes and have a stable monthly income for 10 years. Remember that your purchase of Fair Trade Certified tea helps improve lives and protect the environment.  Click here to learn more about our Fair Trade mission. check out our fair trade teas Read More
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“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”. Fair Trade USA 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 Shop our fair trade teas Read More
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Gavatea offers a handpicked selection of the freshest and the finest teas from the Nilgiris region of South India. Our tea collections feature organic and fair trade single-origin teas from the local estates. Tea produced by the tea estates in Nilgiri offers a unique aroma, flavor and taste. Shop Teas news & offers get the latest news and offers Success! Email Subscribe Now visit us Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per. call us (+880) 123 456 7898 (+880) 123 456 7898 email us contact@gavatea.comshop@gavatea.com Read More
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