October is Fair Trade month. You hear and see the words “fair trade” all over the place—in supermarkets, retail stores, coffee shops–but do you really know what it is? Fair Trade is a social movement where the goal is to help producers in developing countries create healthier trading conditions and promote sustainability. This global practice started in the 1940s when North American and European organizations helped underdeveloped communities sell their handmade crafts to local markets. Fair Trade is an exchanging partnership that contributes to sustainable developments by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers. Fair Trade practices assist in creating more equal exchanges between consumers and producers. Funds from Fair Trade practices solely support social, economic and environmental development projects in these poverty-stricken regions.
Art of Tea founder Steve Schwartz, documented a few of the ways in which Fair Trade benefited a tea-producing community in China. Click on the link below and see for yourself what Fair Trade means to the tea producers in a town near Wuyi Shan in Fujian:
Art of Tea is a leading purveyor of Fair Trade USA certified Fair Trade blends. We offer about 39 Fair Trade certified teas and continue to search for Fair Trade opportunities to produce more. Among these Fair Trade teas are favorites such as Caramelized Pear and Velvet Tea.
But as we usher in the fall season, Tali’s Masala Chai seems fitting in my mug. I am a Chai fan, so I had high hopes when I tried my first cup. Not only is it Fair Trade, it is organic certified. The mildly caffeinated blend consists of the traditional Assam black tea from India, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.
This aromatic concoction is smooth with hints of spiciness garnered from the cinnamon and ginger. I was quite pleased with its strong yet well-balanced flavors. This also makes a great latte. Simply stir in milk, and you’re moments away from a heavenly treat.
Here are just a few reasons why Fair Trade practices are so important to Art of Tea:
· Fair trade practices help producers in under-developed countries have greater opportunities to acquire the resources they need to improve their livelihood.
· Sustainable development protects against land loss by promoting environmentally friendly processes which in turn creates a healthy working environment for producers and their families.
· Fair trade practices also promote fair wages for workers, build schools and hospitals, create cultural centers, promote gender equality and fight against child labor in tea producing areas.