Friday TeaDay 8/22/08 Fair Trade Certified Teas


BYOT! Enter TeaChat here, you never know what you may find!

Fair Trade Certified. Do these terms ring true to you?

Absolutely yes.
5
11%
I am leaning this way
8
18%
All other things being equal, yes
18
41%
No, not particularly
6
14%
Definitely not
1
2%
I am afraid to say, I am a bit unaware
5
11%
Other
1
2%
 
Total votes : 44

Friday TeaDay 8/22/08 Fair Trade Certified Teas

Postby Chip » Aug 22nd, '08, 02:10

Surprisingly, despite the numerous teaware discussions going on here on TeaChat, most TeaChatters indicated they were not actively shopping for teaware. I guess just a lot of ooooooing and ahhhhhing. You can still vote and discuss this topic.

Welcome to a FRIDAY edition of TeaDay, everyone. I hope we can get together and brew, then share what is in our cups today, all day.

Today's TeaPoll and discussion topic come on the heals of my first tasting of an Organic/Fair Trade Certified green tea this past week. I realized I did not really know much on the subject. So, I wondered whether many others considered whether their teas were FTC? How important, or unimportant is it to you? Do you think you need to become more aware of the movement?

Since FTC is a newer concept to many of us, I include this link, thanx to Spacesamurai.

Fair Trade Certified Overview

I am looking forward to sharing TeaDay with everyone. Bottoms up.
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 22292
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Matcha

Postby Salsero » Aug 22nd, '08, 02:22

Image
User avatar
Salsero
 
Posts: 5214
Joined: Dec 21st, '
Location: Gainesville, Florida

Postby Geekgirl » Aug 22nd, '08, 02:43

I'm afraid I don't understand the question: "ring true?"

I know that I don't fully trust that "fair trade certified" is meaningful when it comes to tea. I think that many tea farms that have not paid all of the proper certifying officials, inspectors and organizations are still run ethically, with both farmers and workers paid prevailing fair trade rates. Granted, there are only a couple groups offering certification for the certifiers. The one linked gives a stamp of approval to 20 different certifying companies. There are other oversight agencies as well.

I feel the same way about "organic."

In addition, once you step outside the U.S., I believe it is a simple task to pay someone to "certify" your farm, and provide a counterfeit verification.

I agree wholeheartedly with the principles of fair trade, however, I think the implementation is still in its infancy and still rather meaningless in most cases.


It's 11:40pm here, so technically still my Thursday TeaDay. I have been enjoying the Teamaster's Baozhong from the oolong pass box. A truly superior oolong, and what a treat. I thought I would call it quits before it gave out, but on the 11th steep it seems to be at an end. 3.5g in 100ml. Wonderful.

Image

(why oh why did I host this on Photobucket? PB slaughtered the image quality. bleh.)


Sal, matcha? I think that's the first matcha photo I've seen from you. Am I a bad influence? :wink: Love that table runner, and it's a good thing you live cross-country, or I might break in and steal that sweet little chawan.
Last edited by Geekgirl on Aug 22nd, '08, 02:46, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Geekgirl
 
Posts: 2700
Joined: May 31st, '
Location: Portland, OR

Postby Space Samurai » Aug 22nd, '08, 02:44

Here's an official video about Fair Trade.

I must've seen this damn thing at least 20 times over the last two years during various presentations, but it has some good information.

Fair Trade is very important to me. Seeing Rishi's Travelogue on their Fair Trade project in Yunnan, China is what turned tea from just a hobby to a passion for me.

I buy FTC tea (and coffee and sugar) whenver the option is available, which mostly includes my black tea, puerh, and some Chinese greens. Outside of India, there just isn't any FTC oolong to speak of. It would appear that the prices tea farmers in China can get for high quality oolong are higher than Fair Trade premiums, so there isn't as great a need. Benjamin from Rishi had interesting things to say about that. You can read his impromptu but insightful response here: Where is all the Fair Trade Oolong?

Thanks for bringing this up, Chip. :D
User avatar
Space Samurai
 
Posts: 1634
Joined: Jan 28th, '
Location: Fort Worth, TX

Postby Space Samurai » Aug 22nd, '08, 02:57

GeekgirlUnveiled wrote:In addition, once you step outside the U.S., I believe it is a simple task to pay someone to "certify" your farm, and provide a counterfeit verification.

I agree wholeheartedly with the principles of fair trade, however, I think the implementation is still in its infancy and still rather meaningless in most cases.


Obviously as a supporter of FT, I dissagree with this, but it is a response I have seen often.

And my answer always is, "so what if it is?"

Fair Trade makes a difference. That's a fact. Even if there's corruption involved all the way up to the top, even if Fair Trade is only 20% effective of what it could be, or even just 10% Fair Trade is still making a difference. Doing nothing isn't.

Sure, you could tell me that all the things I do are "meaningless." buying Fair Trade or organic products, recycling, eating less meat, riding my bicycle instead of using a car. But I choose to follow Ghandi's example, and as he said, "Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it."

Sorry, I can get a little passionate about this. I promis I'm done preachin' for the night.
User avatar
Space Samurai
 
Posts: 1634
Joined: Jan 28th, '
Location: Fort Worth, TX

Postby olivierco » Aug 22nd, '08, 05:10

Although I buy quite exclusively organic food (FTC or not), few of my teas are organic and I guess none FTC. I wouldn't mind to pay some extra money for an organic or FTC tea, it is just a question of taste and availability.

This morning keemun.
User avatar
olivierco
 
Posts: 3375
Joined: Feb 8th, '0
Location: France

Postby Selaphiel » Aug 22nd, '08, 08:06

I support FTC of course, but it is not always available.

Having some Shincha Kirameki while listening to this newly acquired piece of traditional Japanese music:

Image
User avatar
Selaphiel
 
Posts: 237
Joined: Feb 1st, '0
Location: Oslo

Postby CynTEAa » Aug 22nd, '08, 08:31

G'morning, folks!

I hope to see the FTC teas become more available, of course!

Just back from a trade show and it is so good to be home! My vmail and email are full to the brim, though.

Nice chawan, Sal! How much tea ware do you have at your disposal? I'm envious! I believe those are clown feet in the background! (shudder)


Missed, y'all. :) Happy Friday!
User avatar
CynTEAa
 
Posts: 740
Joined: Aug 21st, '
Location: Connecticut

Postby joelbct » Aug 22nd, '08, 10:07

Perhaps 'all other things being equal,' but that's a big 'if.'

Buying from Japan, I think we can be reasonably sure that the workers are well treated. It's really just China and India to worry about, and I can't think of much reason to trust a 'fair trade' or 'organic' label from China. Besides, I have read that tea workers in China, at least in Yunnan, can earn relatively high salaries around harvest time.

I think what would be more useful is a general charity to help Tea Workers in any locales in which they are taken advantage of or mistreated. But again, operating a charity that serves people living in a Totalitarian Regime is not always an easy task, as we all saw from the Myanmar crisis a few months ago.
User avatar
joelbct
 
Posts: 980
Joined: Dec 2nd, '0
Location: New York, New York

Postby Wosret » Aug 22nd, '08, 10:55

I will select fair trade and organic products over non, whenever I can afford it. I'm skeptical, like Geekgirl, but hopefully one day we can all live in peace and harmony with bunnies and rainbows, right? ;)

One of my professors was extremely skeptical of fair trade (he's the director of African Studies at my university). I've been reading a few books on tea through Google Books, and they paint such an idealistic picture, as though all these tea plantation workers are just as passionate about tea as we are. It's really kind of ridiculous, when the reality is that for some of them, they're just getting by, can be working in dangerous conditions, and some places allow children to work even when the government officially condemns child labour. (I know this was the case for some cocoa plantations in West Africa, for example.)

People in general are unwilling to pay a lot more for things that have been cheap for so long, due to extremely cheap labour. A litmus test could be to compare tea from a country with cheap labour to tea grown in Cornwall, UK!
User avatar
Wosret
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Aug 12th, '
Location: Canada

Postby jogrebe » Aug 22nd, '08, 11:35

All other things being equal, yes, but the problem is that that is not the case. Maybe I'm just shopping at the wrong places but the few fair trade teas that I've tried before were just paying more money for a lower quality product. While I'm all for promotion of justice, until the quality catches up to the non certified fair trade teas I'm just going to continue to go on faith of what I've heard of people who saw the puerh production line firsthand and reported that everybody seemed happy and well off by the Chinese standard.
User avatar
jogrebe
 
Posts: 478
Joined: Jun 15th, '
Location: Norristown, PA

Postby neowolf » Aug 22nd, '08, 11:50

Space Samurai wrote:And my answer always is, "so what if it is?"

Fair Trade makes a difference. That's a fact. Even if there's corruption involved all the way up to the top, even if Fair Trade is only 20% effective of what it could be, or even just 10% Fair Trade is still making a difference. Doing nothing isn't.

Sure, you could tell me that all the things I do are "meaningless." buying Fair Trade or organic products, recycling, eating less meat, riding my bicycle instead of using a car. But I choose to follow Ghandi's example, and as he said, "Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it."

Sorry, I can get a little passionate about this. I promis I'm done preachin' for the night.


The question is what difference. If it's only a little effective due to corruption, then it could very well be making things worse. As conditions have improved a little bit, while the perception of the negative aspects have been neatly swept under the rug thanks to a simple little label.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big supported of fair trade myself. I just don't think it should be glorified to the extreme. It still needs work itself and we shouldn't ignore that or the original point gets killed.
User avatar
neowolf
 
Posts: 78
Joined: May 7th, '0
Location: North Carolina

Postby Victoria » Aug 22nd, '08, 11:55

I select fair trade and organic products whenever possible.

Sal, gorgeous pic, love that runner! What beautiful shades or purple!
But I'm with Cyn on the clown feet {{shudder}} they gotta go.
A tighter crop is indeed called for. :)

Geek, your pic is just gorgeous, I can't imagine it looking even better.
Definitely saving that one to my wallpaper file. :)

A beautiful estate darjeeling to start my day, this one is my current
favorite - Glenburn Wiry Vintage - TeaSource.
.
User avatar
Victoria
 
Posts: 8186
Joined: Jan 8th, '0
Location: Southern CA

Postby Salsero » Aug 22nd, '08, 13:18

GeekgirlUnveiled wrote: I might break in and steal that sweet little chawan.
CynTEAa wrote: I believe those are clown feet in the background! (shudder)
Victoria wrote:But I'm with Cyn on the clown feet {{shudder}}
Cyn and Vic – Sorry to frighten you sensitive girls with the clown, but as I have no fu dogs I must rely on clowny to protect my matcha from the likes of Geekgirl! He is the wrathful clown who guards my tea.

In my cup, gong fu style Panyang Congou per recommendation of Orguz on Tuesday in this same thread. Orguz knows his stuff: it really perks up this average, inexpensive China black. This session the tea even seems to reveal some subtle flavors.

Largely hanging out today, using Tropical Storm Fay as an excuse, but she has been such a pussy cat. Guess I'll have to go to work at least for a few minutes.

Fair Trade **fumbles with notes** ......ah, sure, guilty as charged!...... No doubt, no conviction, no backbone, not sure … err, what everyone else said too. I want a lawyer!
User avatar
Salsero
 
Posts: 5214
Joined: Dec 21st, '
Location: Gainesville, Florida

Postby doyoulovedee » Aug 22nd, '08, 14:06

GeekgirlUnveiled wrote:

Sal, matcha? I think that's the first matcha photo I've seen from you. Am I a bad influence? :wink: Love that table runner, and it's a good thing you live cross-country, or I might break in and steal that sweet little chawan.


http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?t=5385&view=previous

i know i've seen salsero and matcha before. i wish i could frame it and put it on my art wall.

as far as fair trade go. i think if there's a chance it could be making things a little better for labourers it's worth a shot. otherwise i don't believe much in certifications either. it's like calling chickens free range.
User avatar
doyoulovedee
 
Posts: 53
Joined: May 30th, '
Location: daly city, ca

Next

Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation