Why is Rare Tea Different?

For generations, tea has been a very exploitative industry. Today, big brands engage in price wars in the supermarkets hoping to win your loyalty with the lowest prices. They don’t want to lose profit so they put the burden on the farmers - paying less and less for tea. 

Quality drops and marginalised farming communities are forced into ever deeper poverty.

MALAWI

Alexander Kay, Satemwa Estate

We support the three pillars of sustainability:

Economic

Social

Environmental

Economic Sustainability

Tea can be bought for a few dollars a kilo - or for thousands. All the things you know about wine are true of tea; the plant varietal, the unique growing conditions, when and how it is harvested, and of course, how it is crafted.

Appreciation

From the first sip...

"Where once we had only had industrial granules we now have fragrant coffee beans. Beside malt vinegar in cupboards across the country there is cider, sherry and aged balsamic. Where there was only vegetable oil the nation has embraced extra virgin olive. Now it's teas time."

Henrietta Lovell - Founder and Tea Lady

The Impact for the Communities

By buying better tea we are all rewarded.  By choosing tea for quality over price we are supporting skilled men and woman in marginalised rural communities and getting better flavour.

VALUABLE LEAF

A hopeful future

Social Sustainbility

We work with men and women who hand craft tea in small batches, not vast machines churning out an industrial product. They have inherited generations of skill and are fiercely proud of what they do; we are proud to work with them.

Better tea, better jobs

Better tea brings more and better jobs.  Better prices bring better wages. We work alongside our farms – investing in infrastructure and guaranteeing harvests and prices.

REVENUE, NOT PROFIT

Fairtrade, our way.

Find out more about Rare Charity

Environmental Sustainability

Rich biodiversity is crucial to the future of tea. Chemical pesticides and herbicides damage the diverse flora and fauna of tea gardens and the soil that sustains them. The richer the terroir the better the flavour of tea. And we really don’t want a load of chemicals on our leaves that will get into us. 

We only work with farmers using organic principles who don’t use chemical pesticide or herbicides.
However, small producers don't always have the money or manpower necessary for the complex and very costly process of organic certification. Though the organic bodies might be no-profit organisations the certification companies are not.

Nepal

Jun Chiyabari

Certification is far easier to arrange for big agri-businesses.

We have deliberated very carefully over labelling any of our teas organic (even the ones that do have certification).  We worry that it would disadvantage the smaller farms we most admire, who are just as organic but can’t afford to certify.

We have our teas tested – taking on the burden of responsibility not placing it on the farmer.  This means we don’t have the convenience of a stamp but think true sustainability goes beyond that. 

South Africa

Cederberg Mountains

Malawi

Satemwa Estate

We use tins rather than paper, because tea must be protected from light, air and moisture - but our tin is recyclable and reusable.

Our shipping boxes are recyclable and are often re-used, our Sancell-bio bubble wrap is 100% biodegradable, and our EcoFlo packing chips are made from GM free, 100% biodegradable and compostable corn starch that dissolves in water. The chips are also produced using a low energy production process.

Lifetime

Reducing waste