Are Slaves Making Your Tea?

Having just returned to the States after two years abroad, I am suddenly able to find FAIR TRADE products.  I couldn’t be more excited.  I’ve posted several times before about giving fair trade products as gifts, but what about products that we use every day?  I’m on the search for teas that I can feel good about buying.  (Sorry… this tea drinker gave up coffee a few months ago!  I’ll do a coffee post another day.)

Mighty Tea: not fair trade, but read this to learn about the criteria they use in choosing suppliers.  I like that they support sustainable farming practices.  BUT they use a lot of fancy language like “artisans” and emphasize the quality of the tea bag… it’s biodegradable.  That’s great.  I just want to know more information about how workers are treated.

Also, they say: our artisan tea blends contain a unique combination of whole tea leaves, fruits, herbs and spices, which deem it nearly impossible to source all ingredients from farms that are certified “fair trade”.

But somehow, they manage to make sure that some of their teas are USDA certified organic.  I’m still unsure about this company.


This tea is brand new to me; I found it yesterday at Home Goods!  It comes from England, but I paid only $3 at Home Goods for a box of 20. This company started in 1984 and after learning that child labor was involved, they decided to go fair trade.  Their first fair trade tea came out in 1994.

I don’t think all of their teas are certified fair trade (or organic) so check labels… but ethical practices are important to this company.  Leave a comment if you know another place where you can buy this tea. (Amazon has it but you have to buy in bulk.)



Another affordable and fair trade tea I found was at Christmas Tree Shop.  The tea is Ridgways of London.

I couldn’t find a lot of information about this tea, but many of their black teas are certified fair trade.  I was most attracted to the price of this one!  Again, not sure where this can be found besides Christmas Tree Shop.




Numi is a popular brand that are organic, fair trade and fair labor certified.  80% of their products have a fair trade label.

I probably feel the safest buying Numi Teas because their website is so full of information about where they get their teas and how they treat their workers (even pictures that show the farms).  They also have lovely flavors, which I look forward to trying.  They’re a  bit more expensive, but if you really want to know where your tea is coming from, this is probably the one you want to go with.

Last up is The Republic of Tea, which I have not been able to find recently, but I know is widely accessible.  They have some unique blends – Wild Blueberry Black, to the left, looks delicious to me!  Not all their teas are fair trade.  There isn’t a lot of information on their website about their values about fair practices, but they make several regular donations to non-profits, which shows us their compassion for people. Price on their website is $10.50 for 50 tea bags.


What are your favorite fair trade teas?  Please share!

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