Guest blogger Steven Kessler, Co-Founder of Steaz , tells the story of Steaz and its mission to be “Good for the Mind, Body and Soul ".
Hello Readers, my name is Steven Kessler, Co-Founder of Steaz . I would like to welcome you to Fair Trade Month and share the Steaz Fair Trade story along with some very exciting Fair Trade news. At Steaz, Fair Trade  is defined as a partnership between the producers of our Fair Trade ingredients, the companies selling the finished products and everyone buying Fair Trade products like Steaz.
As my parents raised me, they taught me to “DO the right thing”. This parental direction has always helped build my moral compass and permeates all facets of my personal and professional life. When we decided to create Steaz as a means to discovering what’s “Good for the Mind, Body and Soul”, ingredient and taste integrity anchored our creative drive. We also had an internal mandate that all ingredients must be purely natural and whenever possible, certified organic. Through this process we created the world’s first certified organic line of sparkling green teas . Though the response was overwhelmingly positive, we still felt the Steaz brand wasn’t quite “right” yet. “Why” you ask? If a product is to be “Good for the Mind, Body and Soul” its personality must live far above the beverage itself. We wanted Steaz to have a purpose; a fundamental reason for its existence well beyond the fact that it tastes great and is made with the best quality ingredients possible. That is when we learned about Fair Trade USA. 
The Fair Trade USA certification process  educated us about finding the best quality organic and Fair Trade Certified™ teas around the world and what Fair Trade means for our planet and people. In simple terms, our Fair Trade, organic teas are procured from prized tea estates that pay their farmers FAIR wages and provide these workers with FAIR working conditions in TRADE for the highest quality teas in the world. This was something we could get behind! It was then that we became centered on “doing the right thing”.
Steaz is built around three core business values: People, Planet and Profits.
People: We take great pride knowing we are helping farmers live a better life.
Planet: We are mindful of protecting the earth with carbon offset and reduction programs.
Profits: Not the profits we make but the fact that we are happy to pay more for our tea knowing some of our profits go directly into the pockets of the farmers who grow our organic teas.
Through our 9 years in business we have developed incredible relationships along the way, including those in the Ceylon region in Sri Lanka, where our tea is grown. We have participated in hundreds of local and national fundraising events to support causes from cancer research to children at risk. Along the way we have always had a strong relationship with Whole Foods Market , who not only supports us in their stores but also in helping guide us in the world of social responsibility. With that said, we are very excited to announce a new partnership, beginning this month, with Whole Foods Market and their Whole Planet Foundation .
Together with Whole Planet Foundation, Steaz will donate a percentage of every Steaz beverage purchased in the 300+ Whole Foods Market locations, 365 days a year, to the Whole Planet Foundation. So, in essence, this is a universal partnership with both the Whole Planet Foundation and you, our loyal Fair Trade fans. Thank you for joining us in this partnership and we look forward to providing a better way for many more Fair Trade farmers and workers around the world!
Steven Kessler is Co-Founder of Steaz , located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Steaz is a maker of organic and Fair Trade Certified beverages and is recognized as a leading innovator in the ready to drink tea category as well as for its worldwide social responsibility initiatives. Steaz beverages can be found nationally and internationally. Steaz products are Certified Organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI) and are Fair Trade Certified™ by Fair Trade USA. To learn more about Steaz, visit www.steaz.com .