A New International Tea Day

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We hope you’re as excited as we are here at Rujani Tea to learn that, late last year, the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) announced a new “International Day” — International Tea Day!

From 2020, International Tea Day is to be celebrated on May 21st each year.

Hang on a second!

Haven’t we heard of International Tea Day before now?

Yep, since 2005, International Tea Day has been celebrated in tea-producing countries such as India, Vietnam and Sri Lanka and many other parts of the world, on the 15th of December.

Now, starting this year, the official International Tea Day as per the UN is the 21st of May. #1

Why May 21st, you may ask? In most tea-producing countries, the quality tea production season is at its height in May. Its called the “Second Flush” in India and the “Spring Flush” in China.

So, what will this special day involve?

Will people the world over, be sipping on endless cups of tea throughout the day?

The FAO tells us International Tea Day is about acknowledging and promoting tea’s “contribution to human health, socialization, cultural heritage, rural development and sustainable livelihoods.”

The UN hopes International Tea Day will help to boost tea’s popularity, consumption and production and to fight hunger and poverty in rural areas.

We hope International Tea Day can take a step towards improving tea worker’s rights, wages, health and employment security around the globe.

FAO advises that globally, jobs provided in the tea-producing industry provide an income for millions of families in developing countries, including in remote and economically disadvantaged areas. The tea sector creates jobs which help to reduce poverty, improve lives and promote food security and rural development. Tea is a widely traded commodity around the world.

Additionally, the FAO advises that “tea is also associated with the empowerment of women involved in the picking, processing and marketing of the commodity.”

Tea plucker at Aideobari tea farm

In India, a country with a population of 1.3 billion people, the tea industry is the second highest employer amongst all its industries. It’s even more encouraging that women make up three-fourth of this workforce when there is rampant gender discrimination in the developing world.

The FAO reminds us of tea’s massive role in rural development and sustainable livelihoods and gender equality.

So, what does International Tea Day aim to achieve?

International Tea Day aims to link tea producers and consumers worldwide.

It’s hoped that a global celebration of tea will help to promote activities concerning tea’s sustainable production and consumption, and importantly, raise public awareness of tea’s significant role in fighting hunger, malnutrition and poverty, and the benefits for tea producers and consumers that go along with this.

We should celebrate tea not just as a commodity, but also for its heritage, cultural importance, benefits to smallholder livelihoods and celebrate the quality of loose leaf tea.

In 2020, tea is grown in over 35 countries — with the FAO estimating that the livelihood of over 13 million people worldwide is dependent on the tea sector!

Tea dates back around 5,000 years and boasts a rich history and culture!

Now that’s something worth celebrating!

Impressively, tea is the most consumed processed-drink in the world, and the most consumed drink, FULL STOP, after water!

The tea industry continues to grow rapidly, with the number of tea drinkers around the world ever-increasing.

While we may be aware of tea’s health benefits, calming effects and great taste, it’s also important to remember tea is responsible for the livelihood of millions of low-income families and communities the world over.

At Aideobari tea farm, where we produce all our speciality teas, we support 150 families who are permanently employed with us and a much larger temporary workforce during the peak production season. Even during this lockdown, we continue to support the community. We have been supporting this community since our forefathers started this tea farm in 1897!

Tea has been part of the folklore of many historic events. Who can forget that America’s independence was the outcome of the incidents unfolded by the historic ‘Boston Tea Party.’

I don’t know about you, but all this talk of tea has made me want to go and make myself a satisfying cuppa!

Get yourself some of our speciality teas from our online store and support our small tea business and you could be enjoying a cuppa too!

Happy brewing!

Sources: #1 https://www.un.org/en/observances/tea-day

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