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The Arbor Teas Blog

Fair Trade Facts for the Tea Lover

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Fair Trade Tea Plucker

At Arbor Teas, we’re committed to finding and sourcing the world’s best organic and ethically sourced tea available. As such, we offer a number of fair trade certified teas from tea farms in India, Vietnam, China and beyond.

You’ve likely seen the Fair Trade logo before, and it may even influence your purchase decisions. This is a good thing, as Fair Trade focuses on empowering growers by paying them higher “Fair Trade premiums” for their crops, and encouraging environmental stewardship. If you’ve ever purchased something with a Fair Trade Certified logo, you’ve contributed to the welfare and wellbeing of farms, farmers, and their communities.

We wanted to provide our customers with additional information about Fair Trade Certification and what it means for a product to bare the Fair Trade logo. Please see below for seven important Fair Trade facts.

The Goal of Fair Trade is to Protect Laborers: Fair Trade certifying bodies promote rigorous labor standards that include the payment of fair wages, the absence of forced or child labor, safe working conditions, and the freedom to assemble. In addition, all Fair Trade Certified farms must adhere to national and international Fair Trade protections.

Fair Trade Focuses on the Developing World: Fair Trade certification standards focus on the developing world, where the majority of tea is grown. This is why our Japanese and US-grown teas are not Fair Trade Certified – as both countries are part of the developed world and are widely regarded to have fair market standards in place.

Fair Trade Premiums are Reinvested into the Community: One of the coolest things about the Fair Trade movement is that the higher Fair Trade premiums don’t go into the pocket of a single farm owner, but are reinvested in the community, where, Fair Trade USA says, they are used for such things as schools, hospitals, leadership training and organic certification.

Fair Trade Encourages Environmental Stewardship: Fair Trade Certified farmers adhere to strict international environmental standards and are given financial incentives to conserve water and promote reforestation. 

Not All Fair Trade Farmed Products Are Certified Organic: Although organics and the health and safety of the environment is an important aspect of the Fair Trade movement, not all Fair Trade products are necessarily organic certified. Rest assured, however: every single one of our Fair Trade teas is USDA certified organic.

Fair Trade Is Not the Same as Free Trade: Free trade opens markets; fair trade protects workers within those markets. 

Fair Trade Is a Growing Phenomenon: The fair trade movement is growing. And with every Fair Trade Certified product you purchase, you provide a powerful incentive for more farmers to join the fair trade movement. 

We want you to know that as more Fair Trade Certified tea becomes available, we will continue to apply rigorous tasting standards to ensure that we’re still offering excellent Organically Certified teas. 

You can read more about the communities that supply some of our fair trade teas here, and learn more about fair trade certification by visiting FairTradeUSA.org.