At Darvaza Teas, we chose not to sell organic teas. We are fully aware how controversial this decision is, and it has indeed generated long discussions and (respectful) arguments within the team!
Firstly, a product can only be sold as an organic product if all the companies taking responsibility for it possess an organic certification. In other words, the tea garden, tea processing plant and the tea seller (if the latter re-packages the tea) must be certified. This explains why organic food is generally more expensive than non-organic one.
The real clincher is that many small and medium tea gardens simply cannot afford the certification. Demanding an organic tea means taking the risk to discriminate the tea gardens on their size and financial capabilities… However, the very fact that many cannot afford the certification also means that they cannot afford the chemical additives or pesticides on their land either.
Such tea gardens are naturally organic, not necessarily certified organic, and that is what we, at Darvaza Teas, are looking for.
However, non-organic imported food is also controlled, usually when it arrives in the importing country. Tea must prove that it respects the regulations in place in that country and doesn’t contain chemical residuals above the limits defined by the law. Put it simply, it is unlawful to sell tea that does not respect these limits.
Doing good is a delicate balance. We understand that an organic certification is a trust factor for many European consumers. But should we pretend to do good, if that means we would discriminate against small estates? Even if these small estates keep traditional farming methods at least as healthy as modern organic ones? We don’t think we should pretend at all. As with everything we do, we refuse to compromise and we want both the quality and the fairness.
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