What do you mean by ethical sourcing of tea? Ethical sourcing is a journey that involves not only sustainability in tea production but also overall transparency in the tea supply chain and better livelihood of smallholder farmers, tea workers and the community they live in. This journey of producing ethically sourced teas starts with the tea farmers. They are one of the most essential elements in the whole production process. There are many companies which do not have their own production of blends nor do they have factories. They purchase different kinds of teas from these farmers who have necessary equipment and technical expertise to yield top grade blends. Companies, producing or purchasing blends, now focus on different factors of tea production like –
  1. Quality
  2. Environmental responsibility
  3. Social responsibility
  4. Economic condition
  5. Transparency
They make sure that tea is produced in a safe, humane and transparent working condition. The manufacturing of the beverage should be carried with the help of sustainable practices. Ethical Sourcing – An Attempt to Strengthen Tea Community Ethical sourcing is a path to make tea community strong. What should tea companies do in this regard? Well, here are certain things that every tea firm can do to improve the standard of ethical sourcing –
  • Companies can work in association with international and local organizations like certifiers, government organizations and NGOs to make sure that their approach has positive impact on natural environment of tea manufacturing and future of the tea farmers.
  • These companies can provide support to certain projects like CHAI or Community Health and Advancement Initiative and offer health services and vocational training to rural communities in the tea producing regions like Assam and Darjeeling.
  • Tea companies can also expand their collaboration with Ethical Tea Partnership that focuses on the development of four key zones – tea workers, smallholder farmers, raising standard and environment enhancement.
  • Companies should take every measure to have sustained tea production and look after the quality of the brand and prosperity and health of the tea workers and farmers. Their effort should also be directed towards conservation of the tea producing regions.
There are a number of international as well as national tea associations which make proactive effort to enhance the condition of the entire tea industry and not just the producers or the suppliers. They want to raise the condition of the losers in this tea production chain – the workers, together with region and environmental sustainability.