Do you know where your tea comes from, how it is grown and if the people who grow and pick it are paid a fair wage?
When you buy fairly traded teas, you ensure that everyone in the supply chain, from farmer to supplier are paid a fair price. Sadly, much of the tea drunk in this country is picked by labourers who work long hours, for low pay and often under poor conditions. There are also many smallholder farms which can’t compete with huge plantations, and end up having to sell their tea cheaply, ending up in a cycle of debt and depending on the low pay from the international market.
Well, I have some exciting news on the ethical tea front. Traidcraft, the original pioneer of fair trade, has launched a brand new range of fair trade certified teas.
They’ve been supplying us with ethical tea since 1979, yet there new Leaf Lock True Taste range uses a unique protect the leaves on their journey from picking to brewing. In order to preserve the ultimate freshness, so you receive the best cup of tea, oxygen is removed from the packs at source, they are then sealed and the tea is shipped in a vacuum. The tea is then shipped and once it arrives in the UK, it is blended and packed within 8 hours.
This sounds super exciting, and as well as breakfast tea, decaffeinated (using a specially controlled process) and earl grey tea bags, the range also includes a lovely loose tea blend. The loose option would be my top choice, as the tea bags do actually contain a small amount of thermoplastic polymers.
When I asked Traidcraft about the plastic content of their tea bags, they told me that it is industry wide, and is a result of the heat sealing process. The only teabags on the market that do not contain plastic are the individually tagged ones with the string which are stapled however these often come in non-recyclable envelopes and therefore have their own sustainability issues.
Traidcraft have assured me that as soon as a suitable sealing method becomes available they will be switching to that. At present, they advise me that the teabags from PG Tips which are plastic free, use a GMO plant based material, and this is against Traidcraft policy to use.
Now, I’m sure the bit you’re all waiting for is the taste test? How fresh are the teas really? Well, I can assure you that they are amazingly fresh – every little bit of flavour has been preserved. The taste is so different to that from a regular breakfast tea – so rich and satisfying.
I would highly recommend the loose leaf – for fresh, plastic free (apart from the foil wrap) flavour. You can buy the whole range of fair trade teas direct from the Traidcraft website. You can also read up more about Traidcraft teas and where they come from here.
Thanks for reading, I hope you have a wonderful week!