jackdaniel wrote:"Fair Trade" is not fair at all. Google it and you'll find lots of arguments against it. Large corporations use it as a cover to mkae them look more legitimate.
Chemicals are often cheaper and more efficient than good old-school methods of fertilization.
Rishi has built a reputation for direct interaction with the communities that produce the tea that they sell. Rishi is not a big corporate machine looking to make money off its own image.
Second, fertilizers do not equal a good tea plant. Trees, which naturally get their nutrients through biological mechanisms, benefit the most from growing in their original habitat. Plus, fertilizers have huge ecological consequences due to runoff, removal of original groundcover and ecosystems to make way for tree plantations, shipping, and processing/production etc etc. My point being that tea trees that grow wildly are the "best" (highly subjective, but definitely arguable) trees to harvest for tea. Rishi at least partially sources tea from these trees.
I know I sound like a corporate fanboy, but I'm not. I don't like Rishi's teas all that much, to be honest. It simply seems that Rishi is as honest as corporations get.