Here’s what Fair Trade USA says about what it means to be Fair Trade Certified™:
Fair Trade standards have scores of requirements to which all Fair Trade Certified™ farms must adhere. By sourcing Fair Trade tea, you help bring tangible change each day for farmers and workers on those farms. Below are a few of the standards and what it means in effect for tea producing communities.
Criterion 2.2.6 requires all Fair Trade tea estates to pay special attention to the empowerment of women through training, capacity building, guidance, encouragement and assistance as necessary.
Criterion 2.1.10 in the Hired Labor Standard requires that the Fair Trade Committee, the body responsible for determining how Fair Trade community development fund is spent, is representative of the whole workforce.
Criterion 3.5.27 requires that all Fair Trade tea estates have a grievance procedure whereby workers can anonymously make complaints without fear of retaliation.
So what does this mean and why is it important to Tea Drops? Read a note from our founder:
Sri Lanka is filled with beauty and tea exports account for a huge portion of Sri Lanka's economy. While organic tea estates like Idulgashinna Bio Tea Garden represent the best in terms of production, worker treatment, and farming integrity -- there are still a lot of disparities in the tea industry that affect all of us. Women make up over 75% of the workforce, and yet often their voices are not heard. Most do not have the opportunity to ever make it to management positions on the estate. Many are choosing to leave the industry altogether, and encouraging their children to do the same due to the lack of dignity/respect. There are severe impacts if treatment across tea estates does not improve -- including detriment to the tea economy, agricultural/environmental impacts, and a decline in tea quality. They collect a minimum of 35 lbs of tea leaves a day - contributing significantly to the industry, and yet are often marginalized. This is why fair trade is very important to us - it signifies better wages, conditions, and opportunities. The good, the bad, and the promising.
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