Fun fact: roughly 2g of tea goes into a teabag. With the staggering amount of information being thrown at us every day in this new reality, it is no wonder how much news goes unnoticed, left to rot in our inboxes, only to be discovered weeks later.

It is a good idea to pay attention, however, this Saturday, as May 9th marks World Fair Trade Day, and as for us tea enthusiasts, we should definitely care about it. We get to celebrate it, globally, every second Saturday of May since 2004 when it was originally established by the World Fair Trade Organisation.

 According to Fairtrade International humans indulge with drinking 70,000 cups every single second[1], which means that at any given moment, a party of multilingual tea lovers equivalent in size to the population of Harrogate has a cup of tea in their hand. 

In Britain, we celebrate tea with religious zeal with approximately 100 million cups every day[2], and our tea-drinking ritual culminates during the National Tea Day, on April 21st[3].

 With upwards of 300,000 of tea farmers in the Fairtrade scheme works to provide support for farmers and tea workers, striving to empower them and provide them with reasonable wages, substantial negotiating powers, improving their working and living conditions[4].

In an unexpected turn of events, thousands of Brits got rerouted to UK’s fields in the search of employment on produce farms[5]. Farm work, described in news articles with words such as “backbreaking”, “exhausting”, “demanding” but also with a lockdown buzzword; “essential”. Perhaps we will all find a relatability, a connection with those workers continents away picking tea leaves ending up on our shelves, and ultimately in our favourite cuppa. World Fair Trade Day should act as a great reminder of this arduous journey from field to farm as consumers we are all part of.

So, how about discussing WFTD as part of Time for Tea, Family edition?

By Olga A

 

[1]Tea, viewed 7 May 2020, <https://www.fairtrade.net/product/tea>.

[2] FAQ’s about Tea, viewed 7 May 2020, <https://www.tea.co.uk/tea-faqs>.

[3] About National Tea Day, viewed 7 May 2020, <https://www.nationalteaday.co.uk/about-ntd-2/>.

[4] About Tea, viewed 5 May 2020, <https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/farmers-and-workers/tea/about-tea>.

[5] Picking for Britain – coronavirus crisis draws workers to farms, viewed 7 May 2020, <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-britain-farming/picking-for-britain-coronavirus-crisis-draws-workers-to-farms-idUSKBN2220HW>.

 

Organisations:

Fair Trade International: https://www.fairtrade.net

Fair Trade Federation: https://www.fairtradefederation.org/wftd/ 

Twitter handle: @FTFederation

https://wfto.com/fairtradeday2020/

Twitter handle: @WFTO_FairTrade