October may be Fair Trade Month, but there are many tea manufacturers that adhere to this business practice all year round. Fair trade is a market-based model of international trade introduced to guarantee minimum floor prices and social premiums on agricultural goods purchased from small farms around the world that will be used to make things like the teas we love. This allows over a million farmers in Africa, Asia, and South America to invest more in their farms and communities and to protect the environment. In honor of Fair Trade Month, I’m turning the spotlight on 3 fantastic tea companies who are dedicated to supporting this movement: Arbor Teas, Rishi Tea, and Zhena’s Gypsy Tea.
When it comes to loose leaf tea, Arbor Teas are the cream of the crop. Offering over 60 varieties of certified Fair Trade and organic loose leaf teas, Arbor Teas has always been supporting the Fair Trade movement, even when they were originally known as “New World Tea”, back when business began out of Arbor, Michigan. Today Arbor Teas offer one of the largest totally loose leaf and organic selection of teas out there. Visit Arbor Tea’s website to browse their selection of over 60 certified Fair Trade Teas and help support Fair Trade Month! You can also join their Tea of the Month Club and receive a canister of delicious, seasonal tea each month for either 6 or 12 months.
Rishi Tea is another tea provider bringing societal concerns and Fair Trade ingredients to the forefront of their business. With over 64 varieties of Fair Trade, organic, and even Kosher tea, Rishi Tea is promoting not only Fair Trade month, but their 11 first place winners at the World Tea Championship this year. Try 10 of these winners in a limited-time sampler that’s nearly ten dollars off the retail value of the teas. Included in the award winners this year are some great seasonal flavors like Cinnimon Plum and Masala Chai. Check out their website to learn more about their Fair Trade tea offerings and special events in communities nationwide.
Zhena’s Gypsy Tea is not only committed to providing and promoting Fair Trade ingredients in the making of their teas, but the cultivation as well. Zhena’s has gone the extra mile this month, not only using their offerings to promote Fair Trade Month this October, but remembering that this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month as well. For the month of October, Zhena’s is offering five different varieties of Superberry teas, specially formulated for women’s health, and a portion of all of the proceeds will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The bonus? All of these teas and herbs used to make Zhena’s Superberry teas are Fair Trade Certified. There’s no better way to support both causes this month. Browse Zhena’s website for more information on their Fair Trade teas, donating to Breast Cancer research, and celebrities favorite Zhena’s flavors.
There are many reasons why Fair Trade is so important in today's society. Perhaps most importantly, is the social welfare and aid it allows farmers and communities to obtain, espeically in developing countries. As avid tea drinkers, it is our responsibility, too, to know where the ingredients in our teas are coming from and how we can promote the most responsible methods of farming and cultivation. Whichever way you choose to celebrate, find a great seasonal flavor, make sure the herbs and ingredients in your teas are Fair Trade Certified, and maybe even help support Breast Cancer Awareness Month at the same time.