Our Sourcing Practices
When Art of Tea was founded, Fair Trade was a pioneering force in promoting ethical practices within the tea industry. We were Fair Trade certified for several years, but after meeting with various farmers, we realized it wasn’t enough. We needed to do more to support our partners and foster ethical and sustainable trade practices.
Today, we take great pride in direct sourcing, a practice we’re calling Direct Care Trade. Unlike Fair Trade, Direct Care Trade is not a certification but a transparent relationship between producer and buyer. While Fair Trade relies on third-party certification and sets fixed minimum prices, Direct Care Trade involves negotiation based on quality, market demand, and more. It is a more dynamic and adaptable approach that relies on trust to ensure safe working conditions and fair prices at all production levels. Through Direct Care Trade, we’ve fostered meaningful development projects such as better infrastructure and clean water initiatives for our suppliers and their families.
Through this initiative, we can source our teas and botanicals directly from producers, farmers, and family estates, bypassing unnecessary intermediary admin costs and establishing transparent, long-term partnerships. Direct Care Trade has allowed us to build stronger connections with producers, ensure higher product quality, and have a more significant positive impact on the livelihoods of small-scale tea producers and their communities. We are incredibly proud of the close personal relationships we’ve built with suppliers, allowing us to offer the finest ethically sourced teas while ensuring that everyone involved is treated fairly and with great respect.