Dark side of Assam tea and importance of organic farming
It was not long ago that secrets of many Assam's tea estates were publicly revealed causing the consciousness alarm to go red among the tea drinking population. And everyone else, as a matter of fact. The facts were shocking, images appalling and the public was terrified. They had no idea under which conditions their favorite black tea was being made.
Scandalous secret life of Assam tea
As the living cost grew higher and wages remained the same, a lot of problems occurred for Assam tea pluckers, as well as for the owners of tea estates. Inhuman conditions, long working hours, small wages and malnutrition all lead Assam tea to lose its reputation. Is the answer choosing to sabotage drinking Assam tea? It surely isn't. Hopefully revealing Assam's scandalous secret life forced tea estate owners to put more effort into providing better working conditions for their workers. After all, it's worker's effort, knowledge and sacrifice that make it possible to produce the highest quality teas. Knowing all the facts is more important, educating yourself on human conditions and origins of your tea will give you a better understanding of what lies in your cup and to be grateful for every cup you are offered.
Why caring for farmers is important for tea drinkers as well?
Bad living conditions including unhygienic sanitary facilities, unhygienic production processes, opened cesspits near water all influence the quality of tea. Everything around tea bush, including air, water and earth will leave a mark on the final product.
Going organic does not only mean not using pesticides on tea bushes, it includes caring for surrounding nature and providing a healthier product. Organic certification's strict rules also benefit the workers' status. The period of three years is needed to pass the organic certification, making sure the final product will be made by all standards. There is a reciprocal connection between humane condition on farms and quality of the tea you are drinking. While organic means a healthier product, it does not necessarily mean a fair wage. By imposing our two main principles, selling only organically produced tea and sourcing directly from small farms, we are caring both for your and farmers well being. The price you pay is going directly to the farmers themselves, resulting in fair wages for their hard work.
After the degrading facts were revealed, could tea drinkers really enjoy their cup with full pleasure, not being reminded of people behind the scenes? Some probably could, some were devastated. But, the strict public eye could force some good changes. We are working towards better understanding of Assam tea farm's conditions and on contributing to positive changes in the Assam tea industry. We hope that by setting up a minimum wage for tea workers that is above the Assam's average, sourcing directly from small farms and informing you of the current condition in Assam will positively affect your understanding of this important question.
Know where your tea is coming from
While working directly with tea farms, we wanted to make sure that these facts will not slowly fade into the oblivion one more time. We wanted you to enjoy your cup of tea and rest assured that the work of countless tea farmers was fairly awarded. After all, it is their effort that made everything possible in the first place. Seeing beautiful tea leaves should awake happiness, not dreadful images of poverty and unfairness.
Lives of workers should be cherished more, providing more human conditions and better wages. Importance of human factor is being more recognized by many drinkers, and maybe all estate owners will be obliged to make changes. Raising the price of tea is important to provide better and fair wages for workers, based on current life standard.
- Pranabjyoti Nath