BBC: "The bitter story behind the UK's national drink" September 08 2015
The BBC highlights the unpleasant realities for some tea workers in India, on estates used by most of the biggest UK tea brands - Twinings, Yorkshire Tea, Harrods, Fortnum and Mason, PG Tips, Liptons, and Tetley.This should be concerning to all of us - for how can we justify the happiness and relaxation we get from our nice cup of tea if it is produced on the back of human suffering?
Click through to the BBC article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-34173532
Our company is too small to buy directly from the tea estates. We buy our tea for blending from a carefully chosen UK wholesaler, due to the quality of product and very high personal standards. He is a Master Tea Blender with over thirty years experience, and personally visits the estates he buys from. Here's what he has to say:
"We do not purchase from either of the companies referenced in the article (McCleod Russell or Assam Company) and never have. We only purchase our Assam teas (and Darjeelings actually) from Goodricke group of estates as I have personally visited most of their estates and seen the quality of living and working condtitions for myself. We take sourcing of our teas very seriously and are happy to pay a premium for quality of both the teas and the conditions in which they are grown and I have always found Goodricke to follow the same ethos as our own (I have know them for 17 years). Goodricke take their own corporate social responsibility very seriously and you will see from their website (http://www.goodricke.com/sustainability) that a good proportion of their estates (in fact all the ones we purchase from) are certified and audited by a number of ethical and manufacturing accreditation schemes."
For me, this really highlights the difference between buying from a large corporation with little individual accountability and shareholders to appease with profits, and buying from an artisan producer who cares about every part of the process.