As a direct importer, we are proud of our participation as a market leader in Fair Trade Tea. This is an incredible opportunity for Art of Tea, as we have been following fair trade practices since the begining of the company's creation. During this time we have managed to dramatically increase our volume of fair trade ingredients on an annual basis that are currently used in the teas we produce and sell such as our Fair Trade Certified Organic Chai Tea. This is an continuous progression for Art of Tea as we are determined to make sure that every one of their ingredients are sourced from sustainable fair trade practices. We are unique in that we are also hands on in the process of assisting several tea estates from around the world become fair trade certified.
Here are just a few reasons why fair trade practices are so important to Art of Tea:
- Fair trade practices help producers in under-developed countries have greater opportunities to acquire the resources they need to improve their livelihood.
- Sustainable development protects against land loss by promoting environmentally friendly processes which in turn creates a healthy working environment for producers and their families.
- Fair trade practices also promote fair wages for workers, build schools and hospitals, create cultural centers, promote gender equality and fights against child labor in tea producing areas.
Here are some Facts with Art of Tea's Involvment with Fair Trade:
- Estates must be Fair Trade certified to sell products as Fair Trade. They have to show an auditor that they are practicing fair labor and pricing strategies as well as other prescribed principles.
- Purchasers of Fair Trade raw material pay a Fair Trade Premium. Currently, this premium depends on the product, but for most teas, the premium is $0.58/lb.
- The Fair Trade Premium ultimately makes its way to the farmer to support their infrastructure so that they can continue to follow Fair Trade Principles.
- In addition to the Fair Trade Premium, there is a Transfair License Fee, which goes directly to Transfair to cover their administrative costs of managing the certification. This License fee is $0.18/lb, and is typically paid by the brand holder, not a distributor or broker. As we are a brand holder, we have to pay Transfair $0.18 for every lb of tea that we sell as “Fair Trade Certified”.
- Not only is Art of Tea a brand holder, we are also an importer and manufacturer for other Private Label Tea Program and Companies, and as a manufacturer, we also have to pay the Transfair License fee.
To Learn More and Watch a Video on Art of Tea Sourcing Fair Trade Organic Tea go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZyJ5dg0Ga4
A complete list of Fair Trade Teas and Fair Trade Herbs and Botanicals can be found here: http://www.artoftea.com/catalog/fair-trade-teas-c-48.html
According to Transfair USA, The Fair Trade Certified Tea and Herb Program includes products derived from the Tea plant of the Camellia family (Camellia sinensis and/or Camellia assamica), Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis), Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa), and plants in the Mint genus (Mentha), including Peppermint (Mentha piperita) and Spearmint (Mentha spicata). Fair Trade Certified tea was launched in 2001, rooibos in 2005, and chamomile, hibiscus and mint in 2006.
(Please Note: TransFair USA's Fair Trade Tea Program is likely to change without notice)