Ethical tea is important to us. Whenever we eat and drink, we are making a choice about the world we want to live in. Do we want to live in a world that is poisoned and relies on underpaying laborers on behalf of rich corporate interests? Or do we want to live in a world where the earth, the tea plant, the locals who tend to and live on the earth, are all valued for their being? At Planet Teas we ask ourselves this every week.
Because of this we always seek to bring the best tea and spices to you. By best tea and spices we not only mean the richest flavor profile we can find. We do that. It is in our nature to only want to bring the best we can to market and to you. We also mean that we set the intention to serve the planet and the people of the planet with our teas and chai blends.
For our Chai tea blends we rely on Chota Tingra estates. Let me tell you a story that explains why. The tea estates in Assam are centered around villages. The plantations employ the villagers to do the tea work. It has been the model since colonial time that the villagers live in a symbiotic relationship with the plantations. But it is more of a parasitic relationship. The workers are paid poorly to produce a product that is sold off and shipped around the world. They remain uneducated, have little opportunity to advance or better their lot in life.
Chota Tingra is different. Owned by Jalen industries and Mana Organics it is run by Avanti Jalanka, her husband John and her brother. They bring social consciousness to the estate as well as environmental consciousness. While the government runs the schools of the villages around the estates, the funding can be poor. Under Mana Organics it is different. They actively contribute to the schools in order to provide opportunity and education to all of the village’s children. They work with the teachers to provide quality education and help the children develop there talents and interests. They do this while working to educate and develop health, sanitation, and sustainability in the local village.
Mana Organics has strived to create sustainable tea production in the Assam region through organic cultivation, modern irrigation methods. Also, they are bringing equality into the work place. They are educating the children of the village to take on management rolls in the estate breaking the wall between owners and workers and creating social mobility in rural India. They have brought women into the management team, which is a incredibly ground breaking for the cultural region they are in. All of this is set with the intention to bring long term benefit for the people who actually work with the tea.
This is in alignment with Planet Teas mission and purpose. To bring health, well being, spiritual vitality, respect and prosperity to everyone involved in tea, from the farmers to the drinkers.