“The Day will promote and foster collective actions to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty.” - United Nations
Tea is grown, plucked, processed and shipped around the world, and is the second most consumed drink after water. This means that, beyond the enjoyment of the beverage, the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant affect livelihoods, economies, and the ecosystems on a global scale.
We are excited today, as we are each year, to observe International Tea Day, which was recently backed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The original tea day was celebrated annually in December, starting in 2005, and was organized by tea workers and small tea growing operations in India, and was selected for activities and political actions to raise awareness around the working conditions of labourers and the deep cultural and economic significance of tea. It was quickly adopted by other tea-growing countries in a multilateral effort to support the sustainable growth of the tea economy in local and international communities.
At Westholme, we know that environmental conditions affect working conditions, and vice versa. We grow and import fine organic loose leaf teas not just because we think they taste better; we also recognize that subjecting tea pluckers (on our own farm or internationally), tea consumers, and the environment to constant pesticide and herbicide exposure is an unethical and unsustainable plan for our business and for the world. For a drink that has been the centre of tradition and history of so many cultures for over 5,000 years, an unsustainable practice means that we may, one day, be without it.
We encourage you to be curious, while drinking your next cup of tea, about how this miraculous plant made it from the field to your cup.