Whole Planet Foundation Supporter
As most of you know, we are very proud of the integrity that anchors our products. For us, this goes beyond the fact that Steaz tastes great and is made with the best quality organic ingredients, our products are also Fair Trade certified. This means our teas are procured from tea estates that pay their farmers FAIR wages and provide these workers with FAIR working conditions.
We have also developed a strong relationship with Whole Foods Market, who not only supports us in their stores but also in helping guide us in the world of social responsibility.
In October of last year we announced that we would donate a percentage of every Steaz beverage purchased in one of the 300+ Whole Foods Market locations to the Whole Planet Foundation. We plan to donate $15,000 over the next year! This will impact 665 lives around the world.
The Whole Planet Foundation provides grants to microfinance institutions in poor communities where the grocer sources products. Their goal is to fund poverty alleviation in 60 countries by the end of 2012!
Without you, our loyal Steazers, this partnership would not exist. We value "providing a better way" well into the future and sincerely thank you for supporting us and all that we do globally. So crack open a Steaz, enjoy the best that Mother Nature has to offer - and know that you are doing your part to make this a healthier, better world.
Tell us, did you learn anything new about Steaz this month?
Fair Trade for Steaz
In Sri Lanka, life on a farm includes meditation in the morning and yoga soon after. For Nadia, life also includes a comfortable home and new medicine. That's because her family farm is Fair Trade Certified so she's paid fairly for her crop, which just so happens to include the finest tea leaves in the world.
Miguel helped make our green iced tea unlike any other. Inside his satchel is a Brazilian treasure - handpicked Sambazon acai berries. These little gems get blended with blueberry and pomegranate to bring you an unusually refreshing triple fruit tea. And since Steaz is Fair Trade Certified you can be sure Miguel and other farmers like him are being treated well and paid fairly.
These are two stories we have featured on the cans of Steaz Organic Iced Teaz. We're making some exciting changes to the look of our packaging, which we'll talk about in a later blog post, but these stories helped bring to life the importance of fair trade. All of Steaz teas are Fair Trade Certified. Fair trade is about building relationships with the communities that help provide our food sources. Fair trade is also a social movement and trading partnership that combines environmental criteria, such as sustainable farming, with labor and wage standards and community investment, such as the creation of schools and clean water systems. It helps ensure that producers and workers in developing countries are being treated and paid fairly. It gives smaller producers access to the international marketplace and provides a better chance for economic self-sufficiency.
You'll notice that all Steaz products carry the Fair Trade Certified label. According to TransFair USA, the leading third party certifier in the world, the Fair Trade CertifiedTM Label guarantees consumers that strict economic, social and environmental criteria were met in the production and trade of an agricultural product.
For me and for Steaz, fair trade is a natural extension of our values. We have always functioned more like a natural foods company, meaning we've done our own research and footwork to source our ingredients. You have to do this when you are committed to including all-natural ingredients.
For example, our Key Lime Sparkling Green Tea flavor is the extract of the oil from the rind of a key lime grown in Mexico. Mexican key limes have some of the finest flavor in the world. To obtain an authentic key lime flavor, we had to find it ourselves. When you go through this process personally, you gain a deeper respect and appreciation for the farmer organizations and their workers.
In the Sri Lankan tea gardens that Steaz uses, we pay an extra premium directly to an association of workers that vote on how the fair trade funds should be spent. Tea workers have used these funds to hire teachers for community schools, to bring clean water to their villages and for healthcare programs. It's been a privilege over the years to support fair trade and the farmers who help provide our ingredients. We are grateful for their hard work and contribution to our company.
Tea isn't the only fair trade product we love. The next time you're in the grocery store look for and support fair trade products such as sugar, wine, cocoa, coffee, fruit, rice and chocolate.
Check out this video, if you'd like to learn more about Fair Trade.