Bulk organic teas now Fair Trade certified

This article was originally published in December 2001

Fair Trade logo image The Fair Trade coffee you buy at PCC provides living wages and concrete social change for coffee growers.

Free Trade or Fair Trade?

Look for new labels on PCC’s bulk organic teas indicating they are Fair Trade certified.

Granum, Inc., a Seattle tea importer and manufacturer of Choice Organic Teas, announced that its loose leaf Earl Grey, Black FOP India, Gunpowder Green, Green Moroccan Mint and Jasmine Green teas are now Fair Trade certified. Beginning this month, PCC shoppers will see new Fair Trade Certified bin labels which show these teas were traded responsibly.

Free Trade or Fair Trade?
The Seattle Audubon Society is hosting a free lecture about American trade practices. The talk will be Wednesday, December 12, 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Greenlake PCC classroom. Greenlake store location.

The alphabet soup of global trade agreements — WTO, NAFTA, FTAA — might seem pretty complicated and insignificant these days. Many people believe these agreements have little or no effect on our daily lives in Seattle.

Seattle Audubon’s workshop attempts to explain how current and pending trade agreements have a direct impact on our lives: on the food we buy, on the air we breathe, on the way we work and on our democracy.

For more information, contact Seattle Audubon, 206-523-8243.

Under the same international certification system now being adopted by many leading coffee brands, Granum pays an additional premium per kilogram of tea it imports from India, Sri Lanka and China to support local tea-growing communities. Specifically, the Fair Trade tea program ensures that the importer-paid premiums on teas purchased through this program are paid directly to the working population of tea gardens. The community of workers uses these funds to improve access to better housing, healthcare and education. The Fair Trade program (not to be confused with free trade) is administered nationally by TransFairUSA www.transfairusa.org.

Granum president Blake Rankin notes that Choice Organic Teas is now the first U.S. tea brand to be Fair Trade Certified. The bulk tea certification follows the release earlier this year of 10 Fair Trade Certified teabag products, and two ready-to-brew chai blends. “The Fair Trade program makes a direct contribution to the well-being and livelihood of tea growing communities. I hope more tea businesses here in the USA will join Fair Trade in improving quality of life for tea plan-tation labor,” states Rankin.

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