Numi Tea Brings Fair Trade to Madagascan Turmeric Farmers
This guest blog post comes to us from Brian Durkee, Chief Operating Officer at Numi Organic Tea. Having worked with Fair Trade Tea farmers since 2003, Brian has seen it all. He is a true champion for improving the lives of tea workers, and he was eager to help bring the same benefits to the producers of Numi's newest ingredient. Read on to learn more about the process:
A member of the ginger family, turmeric has caught the attention of wellness practitioners and health enthusiasts for centuries. Given its culinary versatility and medicinal properties (not to mention its vibrant color!), it’s no wonder that we are seeing the root become a mainstay of diets around the world. People are turning to turmeric, and we are excited to do the same.
With its innumerable health benefits, we knew that we wanted to incorporate turmeric into a brand new tea collection at Numi Tea. We wanted tastes that would complement the earthy/robust flavor of the root; we wanted profiles that would mirror the vibrancy of the spice; we wanted a tea collection that highlighted the wonder of turmeric. And, perhaps most importantly, we wanted our new tea line to be on-par with the sustainable practices that are the foundation of all of our blends. All in all, we wanted to utilize a turmeric that was Fair Trade Certified.
One year ago today, however, there was a very limited supply of Fair Trade Certified turmeric on the market. We found ourselves faced with two options: develop a line of turmeric teas that were not certified Fair Trade, or help an existing turmeric farm become certified. As you can probably imagine, the second option won our hearts.
In early 2013, we worked with our partners to find an incredibly high-quality turmeric. They had recently helped a farm group in Madagascar become certified in growing organic turmeric – and it was the best turmeric they had ever seen. After a few conversations with both parties, we decided that we had found our turmeric. “This turmeric is perfect.” we told the farm group in Madagascar, “But we would like to take this to the next level and help you get Fair Trade Certified.”