Since the Fair Trade Certified™ tea program began in late 2000, certified imports by U.S. traders have totaled more than 7.3 million pounds and generated more than $2.5 million in premium payments to producer groups. New interest from major importers and brands, spurred by growing awareness and demand from U.S. consumers, propelled the annual growth rate to 38 percent in tea imports from 2009 to 2010. In just a few short years, consumers and brands have driven Fair Trade Certified Tea into mainstream markets and onto the shelves of cafes, markets and grocers, offering people the opportunity to choose a product that has a true impact on the farmers and workers around the world who worked so hard to cultivate it.
As we see in Fair Trade USA's recently released Tea Impact Report , the numbers speak for themselves.
- Premium funds paid to tea farming communities since 2000: $2,557,441
- Pounds of Fair Trade Certified Tea imported into the U.S. since 2000: 7.3 million
- Import growth since 2009: 38%
- Percent of Fair Trade tea imports with organic certification: 79%
- Top producing countries of Fair Trade Tea: India (30%), Rwanda (23%), China (19%)
Community Development Through Fair Trade
Tea garden workers and tea farmers across Asia and Africa benefit from the commitment of U.S. consumers to support fair wages, strong cooperatives and fair working conditions. Premium funding paid to producers as a result of Fair Trade sales helps farmers and workers invest in better lives for themselves and their communities. The Fair Trade premiums fund programs that create better access to health care and education, support women and protect the environment.
Singampatti produces the largest amount of organic tea in the world. Oothu Singampatti Estates is one of several holdings of the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Ltd. (BBTC). The Oothu Singampatti Tea Estate was started in 1929 as a new plantation in the Manjolai Manimuttar hills in the Eastern mountain region of Southern India. The Singampatti Group was later founded in 1965 to manage this estate. This group has three distinct operations, but Oothu Singampatti is particularly interesting as it was the first tea garden to adopt biodynamic principles and the first in the country to become certified organic.
Oothu is situated among tropical evergreen forests of the Kalakkad and Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve. These forests are some of the best preserved in the world and are home to a wide variety of plants and animals. The local communities have been able to preserve the native flora and fauna extraordinarily well over the years. Oothu Singampatti practices 100 percent organic tea cultivation and production, and parts of the other gardens—Manjolai and Manimuttar—are fully organic certified. The organization has always strived to achieve the most sustainable agricultural practices. This level of integrated sustainability made the organization an easy fit for Fair Trade when the group gained certification in 1995. The Fair Trade premium has enabled Oothu Singampatti to establish various social and productive programs, such as health care and education development.
View the full Tea Impact Report Here