Tea Rebellion

 

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Are you a tea rebel? The good folks at Tea Rebellion certainly are, and this month they are celebrating their first anniversary! If you haven’t tried their tea yet, you really should.

Goodness knows Canadians love their tea. But is their room for improvement? Can we strive for better tea, and better conditions for those who grow and harvest it? Tea Rebellion was founded by Toronto resident Annabel Kalmar in 2017. While studying agriculture in Central America she became aware that, while the production and trade of coffee and cocoa were beginning to become part of the social consciousness, and fair and ethical trade practices were being implemented, the production, marketing and trade of tea was being left out of the conversation. So she set about changing that, addressing the manner in which teas are grown and harvested, how farmers are fairly compensated, and in general raising awareness about the purity and quality of teas that the average consumer purchases.

 

Harvesting tea at Satemwa

Harvesting tea at Satemwa

 

Tea Rebellion sources their organic teas from small, independent grow-ops, family farms and co-ops. At present Tea Rebellion has partners in Kenya, Japan, Malawi, Nepal, Indonesia and Taiwan. Some of these farms, like Satemwa in Malawi have been family owned for almost a hundred years, generations of families holding out against the big, multinationals and providing local families with sustainable and ethical employment. As the only orthodox tea producer in Malawi, Satemwa is Fair Trade, UTZ+ and Rainforest Alliance Certified. Furthermore, Satemwa was the first tea farm to employ women and set up a progressive gender-equity policy that has allowed some woman to take on managerial positions.

 

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Tea Rebellion celebrated its first anniversary this October and decided that the best way to celebrate this milestone was to strengthen the communities that they partner with. This year they will support a community project for Kanchanjanha,  their organic tea Cooperative in the Himalayas in Nepal.

Our crowdfunding campaign will help families living in the higher up tea gardens at about 2000 m altitude to get a head start on schooling while keeping their kids safe and close.  When I visited our partner farm in Nepal in June 2018 i saw that even very young kids have to walk to school even further up the hill while their parents work on the fields. It’s a tough and unsafe setup…and it can be helped! Now we are raising $10,000 in order to build a small school for primary and kindergarten children of Cooperative members. The maintenance, teachers, land and scholarships for the kids will be funded by the Cooperative but they need support to build the school”-  Annabel Kalmar, Tea Rebellion

 

Annabel, Tracy Mahr and Nischai Banskota in Nepal

Annabel, Tracy Mahr and Nischai Banskota in Nepal

 

This is only a small example of the good being done by this company, and only one of the reasons why we are proud to offer Tea Rebellion’s teas at our store. Another reason is that it’s incredibly delicious!

 

Ming Jian Oolong tea (Taiwan)

Ms Kalmar enjoys the aroma of freshly plucked Ming Jian Oolong tea (Taiwan)

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