In honor of Earth Day, we’ve spent all week talking about the ways that your small actions can add up to big change. And now, tea drinkers in the UK (and soon, Canada!) have another sustainable option when they’re shopping for their favorite brew: Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Tetley Tea.
Yesterday, Tetley Tea bearing the little green frog seal became available in the UK – and by June, it should be available in Canadian supermarkets, too. It’s an exciting development for the Rainforest Alliance and another important step for the world’s second largest tea company, which is working to source 100 percent of its Tetley brand tea – including black, green and red (Rooibos) tea, and all flavored and decaffeinated varieties — from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.
Over 160 million cups of tea are consumed in the UK every day. Already, thanks to commitments from Twinings, PG tips, Yorkshire and others, 60 million of these are from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms, guaranteeing tea-drinkers that their favorite beverage is produced in a way that benefits the environment and the lives of the tea workers. The number of Rainforest Alliance Certified cups could jump to 100 million thanks to Tetley’s commitment.
All farms that are Rainforest Alliance Certified have met the environmental, social and economic standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). The SAN standards cover ecosystem conservation, worker rights and safety, wildlife protection, water and soil conservation, agrochemical reduction, decent housing, and legal wages and contracts for workers.
The Rainforest Alliance and Tetley are also directly connecting consumers with tea farmers through Tetley’s Farmers First Hand initiative, facilitated by Facebook. It allows consumers to communicate directly with tea producing communities who are working toward gaining Rainforest Alliance Certified status for their farms, and the page now has over 7,000 fans.
Peter Unsworth, CEO of Tata Global Beverages, which counts Tetley among its brands, said: “Working with farms to enable them to become Rainforest Alliance Certified™ is good for our business and good for the tea estates and tea pickers we work with. On the estates, farmers have learned, for example, how to reduce their impact on and adapt to climate change and water scarcity. This makes livelihoods there more secure while also meaning less risk to our supplies of tea.”