Panel on Social Responsibility at the World Tea Expo

 May 24, 2008 |  Written by Anupa Mueller

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 - 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)

Charles, I valued your comment and took it in the spirit it was intended. As much as I value Fair Trade, I would support other programmes if they existed. I think the concept of Fair Trade is excellent. Sometimes the bureaucracy is overwhelming! I know your participation in the conservation and environmental arena and we all have much to learn.
Best Regards and thanks for being part of the audience.

Posted by Silver Tips Tea on Sep 16, 2015 02:16 PM

Thank you for moderating this panel and for bringing the topics to the forefront of the conversation in such a well balanced and presented manner. TeaGschwendner in Germany is very involved in conservation and environmental responsibility but the Fair Trade trend in tea is not currently as advanced there as in the US. As a significant portion of our collection comes from gardens that participate in the Fair Trade program we are pushing hard to take the final few steps as a company to join the movement in the US. I hope that my questions were seen in the proper light of gaining a more complete understanding as opposed to challenging the intrinsic value of the program.

Thank you for your leadership in this arena and I look forward to meeting you again in the near future.

Kind regards,

Charles Cain
TeaGschwendner USA

Posted by Charles Cain on Sep 16, 2015 02:17 PM

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