First Published: 1st September 2008
©2006 Tea Concepts Ltd.
About Our Teas: FairTrade Organic Banaspaty Assam

Located in northeast India, the Assam Valley lies 120 miles east of Darjeeling on the border with China, Burma and Bangladesh. There are some absolutely outstanding teas grown in this region, which produces more than 700,000 kgs of tea annually.

The small Banaspaty Tea Estate is nestled in the hills of Karbi Anglong close to the Brahmaputra River. This century-old plantation produces 100% organic black tea and has been Fair Trade Certified since 1995. So what does Organic and FairTrade mean and why should we care?

FairTrade is a system whereby companies pay a premium for the tea that is then used to improve the lives of the tea workers. It applies to many products as well as tea.

This tea garden is in a zone of Assam where tribal people are a majority. Independent evaluation from the FairTrade Foundation ensures that communities such as the Karbi Anglong tribal people really do benefit from clean drinking water, improved housing and better education. The Fair Trade price has enabled managers and workers to establish various social and productive programs to improve the well-being of all who work on the estate.

They have set up a scholarship fund to give their children the opportunity to attend school and fulfil their potential. And, to ensure better health care for cooperative members' families, Banaspaty has funded the establishment of a pharmacy. We might assume that a school and a pharmacy would be available in all Indian communities but sadly in Assam this often isn't the case.

Organic Benefits
Organic pioneers are also slowly rebuilding the fertility of this tea garden by not using chemical fertilisers or pesticides and by ensuring the run-off from the gardens does not pollute water courses. This is good for us when we drink the tea but the effect on the health of the workers and their children is far more significant.

Sometimes the choice we make about which tea to drink has a greater consequence than simply the taste. We at H-TEA-O are proud to support the Karbi Anglong tribal people and all who bring this wonderful tea to our cup.