Social Responsibility

“When we come across projects deeply connected to our world of tea, and we recognize that positive change can be realized, it is essential that we support those projects. We do not act with profits in mind. To the contrary, we are giving back. Sustainability rooted in Organic cultivation – this is our vision. Our advantage? Our customers. They share our values of ecological stewardship and social responsibility. And this is what makes change possible.” – Albert Gschwendner

You can read about one of these projects in this book. TeaGschwendner’s Nepal Project is detailed on pages 46 and 47. Working in collaboration with the German governmental organization GTZ and the Gorkha Tea Estate in Fikkal, Nepal, TeaGschwendner helped build a factory that processes the tea harvested by over 130 small farmers. Master Tea Taster Thomas Holz and Dr. Thomas Henn, the director of our in-house laboratory, provided critical technical assistance. Farmers that once used large quantities of pesticides have now converted their tea gardens to Organic cultivation.

For Thomas Holz, standing in his tasting room in Meckenheim, the greatest joy of this achievement lies in the cup. He has watched the results of these development efforts steadily improve, and it is with great pride that he has recently added several delicious Nepali teas to our collection.

During his visits to eastern Nepal, Mr. Holz often stays with the families that he has befriended over the years. The families are enthusiastic in their praise for the project, quick to relate how assistance in the purchase of an additional cow or a special natural gas generator has made a big difference in their daily lives. Soon, a new training center will be built, and all small tea farmers in eastern Nepal will be able to learn Organic agricultural techniques.

TeaGschwendner has high hopes that these commitments will create sustainable livelihoods for Nepali tea farmers and contribute to the greater health of the local ecosystem. These accomplishments, in turn, are sure to create even higher quality tea.

“The world marketplace is not simply an exchange of goods that have value, but also an exchange of values.” (Nico Stehr) For nearly a decade, TeaGschwendner has been purchasing teas of superb quality from southern India. Black tea from the Oothu garden and Green tea from the Manjolai garden are widely used in our Flavored collection. We have been working with the Bombay Burma Trading company – the pioneers of Organic cultivation in India – since 1996. Bombay Burma employs roughly 2,000 people at its three south Indian gardens, which operate tucked away in a stunning natural setting, independently generating their own “green” power via windmills and composting. Local schools and hospitals serve the community.

Rudolf Steiner, the famous proponent of Biodynamic agriculture, held that true ecological balance can only be achieved through Organic cultivation and the preservation of the local environment – in this case, the magnificent Indian rainforest. The Bombay Burma group has firmly embraced this philosophy, and so has TeaGschwendner.

 

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