Why Buy Tea that is Organic or Fair Trade?

Today’s research on tea reveals therapeutic properties for almost every type of condition from arthritis, heart disease, cancer and liver disease, to asthma, tooth decay, stress, and weight control.

The results of these studies are exciting and indicative of potential benefits from such a natural source – the Camellia sinensis plant, a perennial evergreen shrub from which all tea comes.

There is a wealth of tea health information that has been published in journals, books, and newsletters. The use of tea as a health tonic for various ailments dates back thousands of years to when the brew was first discovered in China.

Hundreds of scientific studies involving humans and animals have linked daily consumption of quality tea – whether black, green, oolong, white or herbal tea varieties – with potential medicinal benefits.

Why Buy Tea that is Organic or Fair Trade?

Consumers usually decide to buy organic and fair trade blends because production is carried out using sustainable farming practices, specifically not allowing deforestation to occur as part of plantation farming techniques.

Some producers go down the fair trade route, which gives the consumer further altruistic benefit in terms of assurance that the workers on the tea or coffee plantations have been working under improved terms and conditions, giving them a better quality of life and reducing exploitation.

What does “organic” mean? 

Tea or coffee qualifies as organic only when environmental-friendly techniques are deployed in its production. An organic unit should be a self-sustaining one, designing the farm at the time of establishment of new organic tea or coffee plantation is crucial for optimum utilization of resources within the plantation itself.

To create organic tea fields, it is necessary to build up inherent nutrient levels and neutralize the chemical residues left in soils from past cultivation. This requires an interim period – called the conversion period.

Based on the agro-ecological conditions, this period may vary from 3 to 5 years. If the plantation is taken up before the conversion period is over, chemical residues may exist in the product. Organic processing techniques are sufficient to make pesticides nonexistent in the end product.

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