Tea

A cup of tea is a daily ritual in the lives of millions throughout the world – and millions depend on it for their livelihood.

“The premium you give us is helping. Life is now smooth. Tea is our source.” Peter Kinarra, tea plucker, Chemase Estate, Rift Valley region, Kenya.

Tea originated in China thousands of years ago and today is a global billion dollar industry.

Tea provides income for more than 80 million tea growers in China and three million people in Kenya, as well as an estimated one million permanent tea growers in India - and twice as many seasonal labourers. Tea growers and pluckers (workers who pluck the tea leaves) earn a fraction of the price tea fetches on the international market and of what is paid in shops in Australia and New Zealand. While most tea is grown on large tea estates, many smallholder farmers also grow it.

Small-scale tea farmers account for a large proportion of tea production in many countries, such as Kenya and Sri Lanka, and the number of women employed in the industry makes them vulnerable to exploitation when wages are low. These farmers sell their freshly-plucked green leaf to plantations or tea factories for processing into black tea, but they have little power in supply chains controlled by large companies. Not only are they vulnerable to low and fluctuating prices, but they can also lack agricultural tools, such as fertilisers or irrigation, to improve to the quality of their crop.

On tea estates the challenges for workers are many, ranging from low wages, long working hours and a difficult relationship with estate management, who they depend on for housing, healthcare, access to water and even education for their children. There are limited alternative employment options available for most of these workers, so they can find themselves stuck living and working in poor conditions. Improving wages improves the lives of farmers and women workers in the tea industry.

Fairtrade works with small-scale tea farmers and estates to address the challenges that farmers and workers face. Together we are working to create better conditions and improve the lives of more than 360,000 people engaged in the Fairtrade tea sector. By looking for the Fairtrade Mark when you shop for tea, you can help us make conditions better for even more in the tea industry.

Find out more about Fairtrade, our work and our products.              

Where can I buy Fairtrade tea?

 Fresh Chai Co Logo
 

Fresh Chai Co.

The Fresh Chai Co. choose only 100% certified organic ingredients and buy Fairtrade. They are passionate about making the best possible chai, so the method takes time and care.

freshchai.com.au
  chai Fairtrade tea logo  

Chai Tea

Chai Tea endeavour to operate with a happy, ethical outlook, and bring quality and consistency to their customers, with Organic Rainbow Chai and Organic Rooibos Chai among their Fairtrade products.

chai.com.au
             
  qi Fairtrade certified tea logo


  Qi Tea

Qi Teas create organic, naturally sweet, antioxidant rich green and white teas, which are refreshing, cleansing and more natural than most.

QiTea.com.au
   English tea shop logo
  English Tea Shop

The English Tea Shop work with only the finest organic and Fairtrade farmers, blenders and producers from all over the world to produce their special range of teas.

etsteas.co.uk
             
 Asha Tea
  Asha

Twinings invite you to immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Asha. A range of Australia certified organic & Fairtrade teas thoughtfully curated and sourced with care for the wellbeing of all.

Twinings.com.au
   Hampstead Tea
  Hampstead Tea

Hampstead is tea as it was always meant to be. Pure tea full of flavour and fragrance, made from lush, green, naturally grown tea leaves.

Available at: wholesomehub.net.au
             
 Clipper Tea logo
  Clipper

Clipper use only the finest ingredients sourced from estates in Africa, India and Sri Lanka to provide an extensive range of blends that extend beyond tea, to coffee and a variety of herbal infusion teas.

Available from: kadac.com.au
   T2 black tea Fairtrade certified logo
  T2

T2’s Fairtrade certified organic English Breakfast Loose Leaf is a traditional blend of broken-leaf teas that produces a coppery liquor with an assertive aroma. The flavour is bright and brisk, perfect any time of the day.

t2tea.com.au
             
 tribes and nations logo
  Tribes and Nations

Tribes and Nations launched in 2005 to offer a 'just alternative' to unfair trade. The founders wanted to encourage Australians to think carefully about where their products have come from, who made them and to ask, 'have they been paid fairly?'

tribesandnations.com.au
  serenitea logo
  sereniTEA

sereniTEA is a concept that was born to exemplify serenity for the body (tea as a calming beverage), serenity for the environment (using an organic process) and serenity for people (sourcing Fairtrade certified teas).

serenitea.com.au
             
 The logo of Scarborough Fair tea   Scarborough Fair

Scarborough Fair tea is 100% Fairtrade certified and brings you the signature taste and aroma you would expect from a pure Ceylon tea. 

Available at: groundedandco.shop/scarborough-fair
   The logo of Tradewinds   Tradewinds

Tradewinds have been supporting producers for nearly 40 years to grow and process the finest tea. They’re an Australian not-for-profit, run primarily by volunteers, so you know that they really do put people before profits. 

tradewinds.org.au
             
 The logo of Sprout Coffee   Sprout

Sprout are excited to offer their Fairtrade tea to Australian offices via Officeworks online. When you choose Sprout for your office kitchen, staff hub or breakout space, you enjoy ethically sourced beverages that directly support producing communities and the lands they farm on. 

sprout.com.au
   The logo of Tielka   Tielka

Tielka select the finest organic teas, direct from growers at harvest. Small batches are then blended and packaged on site in Queensland, Australia, ensuring optimal freshness. Tielka’s teas appeal to those who are discerning, those with a sense of self and style. 

tielka.com
             
 The logo of Eloments Organic Vitamin Tea   Eloments

Eloments Organic Vitamin Tea is the world's first tea enriched with 100% natural vitamins and minerals. They have blended some of the best Fairtrade teas with organic fruit and herbal extracts, so that every cup of Eloments provides you with over 40% of your daily needs of nine essential nutrients. 

eloments.com

       


Small Organic Farmer's Association in Sri Lanka

Dr Sarath Ranaweera, a scientist who previously worked at the Sri Lanka Tea Research Institute, knew that small-scale farms in Sri Lanka’s mid-grown tea areas had been abandoned or neglected because of lack of demand and the poor prices paid to farmers. Dr Ranaweera worked with a group of these farmers to set up a partnership with Bio Foods, an organic tea exporter, which would support their conversion to organic production, expand production and improve quality, with Bio Foods guaranteeing to purchase all their green leaf production. 

Ten years after SOFA’s tea (green leaf) became Fairtrade certified the group had grown from 183 farmers to 1,699. Now, Bio Foods pays SOFA members the negotiated price of Rs 50-Rs60 per kilo, according to quality, which is around double the price paid by local traders. SOFA also receives the additional Fairtrade Premium for every kilo of tea, which is being used toward some exciting projects which are helping to support gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Read more about the story of SOFA and their development projects.