I had the good fortune to chair the panel on Social Responsibility at the Tea Expo in Vegas. With me were four panelists, each with a specific point of view:
Eric Ring, Choice Organic Teas - a large company perspective
Jeremy Lopatin, Arbor Teas.com - a small online company perspective
Miguel Zamora, Trans Fair USA - representing Fair Trade
Rajah Banerjee, Makaibari Tea Estates - presenting the tea grower's perspective
In the audience were representatives from large and small tea companies - Taylor Maid, Bigelow, TeaGschwender USA, Peet's Coffee and Tea and many others. Each panelist provided examples of social responsibility - wind power, recycled boxes, reclaimed packing material, contribution to farmlands, buying organic and fair trade, empowerment of women, biogas renewable fuel sources, soy ink printing, carbon offsets and numerous other examples, both small and large. The Question and Answer section was lively. It was a rewarding experience for us all.
(From left to right: Miguel, Rajah, Anupa, Jeremy and Eric)