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Change is Brewing in the Tea Industry

Posted by Lindy on May 26, 2011


http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/publications/newsletter/change-brewing-tea-industry

Did you know that tea is the world’s most popular beverage after water? Around the globe, more than six million acres (2.4 million hectares) of land are used for growing the Camellia sinensis plant, whose leaves are brewed to make black, green and other varieties of tea. Like any tropical crop, tea raises a number of environmental and social issues.

What are the problems?

Tea is grown in cleared rain forest, as a monoculture (only one thing grown over hectares) which can lead to soil erosion, water pollution from fertilizers and pesticides and also to further rainforest loss for firewood needed in processing. They large tea plantations have lots of employees, which are often underpaid and live in poor conditions with little access to healthcare or education.

The good things about Rainforest Certified Tea?

.By adhering to the standards required for Rainforest Alliance certification, farmers are helping to build a sustainable future for themselves and their families.  The rules are both social and environmental. The workers need fair wages, good housing, access to clean water and health care. But additionally certification has stricter rules about use the of pesticides and fertilizer and how the farm stops pollution and manages waste and generally protects the environment.

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