TPI, India

Under the watchful eye of the majestic Himalayas, Tea Promoters India (TPI) produces Fair Trade and organically certified black (fermented) and green (unfermented) teas. First discovered wild in the area in the early 19th century, hundreds of tea gardens now dot the landscape within six areas of the Darjeeling, Assam, and Dooars regions of India. Grown next to tiger reserves and with elephants, raging rivers, and lush landscapes as backdrops, these teas represent some of the best available.

Tea cultivation in India is over 150 years old, established by the British during colonial times. Plantation workers typically live in very poor working conditions and lack education and marketable skills. Management of many plantations has only continued the disenfranchisement of workers and fostered isolation. Many tea gardens were abandoned due to a drop of more than 40 percent in wholesale tea prices over the last 50 years this, coupled with social and political unrest, has left entire villages with few economic opportunities. TPI has deliberately worked to recover many abandoned tea gardens, converting them into viable production areas.

At the core of TPI’s philosophy is farming harmoniously with nature. TPI not only practices certified organic farming, but also biodynamic tea cultivation (Demeter certified), which is very labour intensive and requires great dedication and expertise, but is the best way for people and the planet. These holistic and sustainable farming practices have restored soil health, with plants & animals reappearing in these areas. Each tea garden has an ecological development plan, taking steps to prevent erosion and channel monsoon water.

Through the support of partnerships with local non-governmental organizations, European and North American tea retailers, and the determination and effort of garden workers, Tea Promoters India has created management models that include workers in decision making. TPI worker-farmers democratically elect representatives to sit on a Joint Body, which decides garden matters with the garden manager. Priority is given to women, who are the core of the tea industry. The Joint Bodies contribute to community development and empowerment, addressing a wide range of social issues.

Just Us! is delighted to offer eight India tea blends – Indian Chai, Darjeeling, Darjeeling Green, Earl Grey, Assam, Oolong, Indian Dream, and Maritime Breakfast Blend. While all different, these teas represent the growing movement towards organic, sustainable, and equitable tea farming. Together, we are making a difference.

Quick Facts

Name: Tea Promoters India (TPI)

Country: India

Members: Approximately 4,000 workers

Products: A variety of black teas, including Darjeeling, traditional Indian chai, and Assam teas

Social Premium Programs:

High school for the region with scholarships

Community centres,

Health,

Housing support

Micro-loans/credits for farmers and families, sewing & small business supports

Alternative energy projects

Composting projects

...and much more!