English Tea Shop’s Focus On Organic Makes Good Business Sense
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Globally, it’s accepted that Britain is a tea drinking nation, with a 165 million cups drunk daily. Tea is a plant containing high levels of anti-oxidants, which can help with a wide variety of ailments and is known for its ability to console, uplift and relax. While there are many good reasons to drink tea, not all brews are equal, as tea production can be labour intensive, with low wages and poor working conditions. Buying Fairtrade helps. However, how the leaves are grown is another issue, as mass-market tea is sprayed with chemicals that affect the environment and wildlife.
To meet the world’s demand for tea, huge expanses of farmland and forest have been converted to growing only tea. In 2011, large areas of East African rainforest were sold to create a tea estate, where these plantations drastically decrease biodiversity through loss of plants and animals. The plantations also create the perfect environment for pests, resulting in an increased use of toxic pesticides, which have a lasting effect upon soil quality, as well as devastating impacts on local wildlife and the workers applying the pesticides. Intensive farming of tea reduces the productivity of the soil, as the land is rarely given a chance to rest and replenish, leading to nutrient-sparse soils that are easily degraded and washed or blown away. Finally, the finished product may contain pesticide residues.
Therefore, switching to organic tea farming would protect habitats and wildlife, safeguard the productivity of the land, and reduce the need for pesticides. Some brands are now choosing to sell tea that is certified rainforest-free, working with suppliers to ensure they use environmentally-friendly production methods. Thankfully, consumer demand for organic tea is booming: the organic market is enjoying a fifth consecutive year, with sales growing 11.8% to £28m last year.
English Tea Shop, the leading global specialty tea company, has always prioritised organic and is in a strong position to capitalise on this strong consumer demand for organic. The company has announced its range of 500 teas and tisanes is now 100% organic. The brand has focused on organic for three reasons: the environment, business and the consumers. These three factors are at the heart of the company’s philosophy of putting employees and suppliers’ livelihoods first, using the principles of value sharing. This ensures that all aspects of English Tea Shop’s supply chain are treated fairly and sustainably.
English Tea Shop’s focus on organic has made good business sense, with UK revenues reaching £8m last year and selling 350m teabags each year worldwide, including at high-end department stores such as Harrods and Selfridges. Crucially, English Tea Shop’s teas and ingredients come from small farmers in limited quantities, and are grown without chemical fertilisers or pesticides. It is committed to recognising how these small farmers make a huge impact on sustaining the planet’s natural eco system for many generations after us.
Photo Credit: English Tea Shop