November 7, 2018
Ecology – Economy – Equality
Buy Organic – it’s important. Only Certified Organic is “Organic”. While that statement is not totally true on a local level and small scale where you know your farmer or supplier personally and there’s no need for third party certification, it is vitally correct in all situations of any sort of commercial scale.
Our food, generally speaking, is way over-packaged. Crazy over-packaged. Go into your food store and spend a dollar and more than half goes to packaging, which goes to garbage dumps or inefficient “re-cycling” facilities. As a species, we’re big wasters. Organic food, in bulk – bring your own container – cooking from scratch – we need more of that. Whole World’s Teas and Spices packages and labels are 100% Home Compostable. If you don’t compost yourself, please start, or link up with friends and neighbours who do compost, and garden locally.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? What the hell is a “living wage”? We espouse: Traceable to the farm and date of harvest. Accurate varietal and production descriptions, and valuations. The political, legal and financial facts and contexts. We set out to increase the farm labourer’s share of your purchase price, optimize the marketing route from field to kitchen, preserve freshness, and decease waste. Our company has no debt and no-one in the company earns more than $45,000 (CAD) per year (the average annual income in Canada). All our profits will go to intelligent charity in the Himalaya (Nepal and India) which is the poorest area we import from. More on that later. We have projects afoot to grow more organic herbal ingredients there as well. We’ll report once a year on this New Moon in Scorpio, which is the event underlying Kali Puja, a.k.a. Lakshmi (or Laxmi) Puja, a.k.a. Diwali, depending on where you are living in the Indian Subcontinent.
Transparency and Fair Share
Fair is all about end to end transparency. Leave out a piece or two and things can get murky quick. Opaque is the opposite of Transparent. There can be no exploitation where everyone involved can see, and understand and appreciate, all the financials involved in getting tea flowing from the field to the factory to the teapot. Himalayan orthodox tea is excellent and produces flavours unique to the region, but due to altitude and the steeply inclined gardens, a yield of ~500 kg. per hectare is average, compared to an Indian average of ~2000 kg. per hectare. 3000 kg. in many Assam gardens. The hours of labour required to produce each kilo is greater too, and labour is getting harder and harder to come by in the hills, since it is very tough work (the actual gardening part, which involves planting, tending, weeding, pruning and plucking), not particularly well remunerated, and hardly offers a future. Yet, this tea still needs to compete, in a consumer world deficiently uneducated about better quality tea, against teas of inferior agricultural and manufacturing methods whose cost of production per kg. of tea is far, far less. What are the actual numbers at each stage? What are small or large farmers’ costs and incomes? What do small farmers earn vs. their employee counter-parts performing identical gardening labour? What are the costs and risks of turning raw leaves into made tea of different sorts? What are the best agricultural / political models? What are the mark-ups and profits between the plant nursery and your check-out basket?
Please roam our site as well as:
About Darjeeling tea and the region.
The other Himalayan tea.