Our organic teas – did they disappear?
First things first, no, they did not. But there have been a few changes.
About our suppliers
We are importing our teas from Europe. Why, you may ask. Simply because our suppliers are renowned tea merchants that have been in the business for over 100 years, most of them. And, our suppliers can guarantee, that the tea comes from selected estates that farm environmentally friendly and also take care of their workers, their pay and their working conditions.
All this plus the fact that the teas and infusions are extremely tasty made our decision pretty easy.
Ethical Tea Partnership and Fairtrade
Most of our suppliers are members of the Ethical Tea Partnership and/or Fairtrade. If all of them were members of the Ethical Tea Partnership, I would be allowed to place their logo on the website. However, one is still missing, they are with a different organisation, which means, I can’t. Unless I become a member myself. But to be honest, it is really expensive for a small business like ourselves. Same goes for Fairtrade. We are still too small to afford such things.
And now we come to the organic bit. To be able to sell organic teas on my website, I would need to be certified. This, as well, costs me several hundred pounds per year. Our teas come bagged and are already EU certified organic and the only thing I am doing is scooping them in smaller bags (with due diligence and hygienic measurements in place of course). I do not add anything or take anything away. they are just repacked.
To get the certification I have to jump through numerous hoops as if I was a producer. The paperwork is ridiculous. To me it is, as most of the things I have to fill in are absolutely irrelevant to my business. And keep in mind, this is only for getting the permission to sell and declare the organic teas as “organic certified” ONLINE! I do not need that certification to sell them as organic in store!
We decided that we are no longer doing it for the time being. Covid19 and the lockdown has put a massive strain on our cashflow (as it has on many businesses) that the fees for the certification are expenses which we feel we can do without.
What does this mean for you
So, even if the teas you used to buy as organic teas here from the website do no longer appear with the UK certified logo, they are still organic teas, certified by an EU certification body. The only difference is, that I am no longer allowed to declare them as organic here on my website. That is all.
Selling to EU and Northern Ireland
Here is an extra funny bit, which to me was the cherry on the cake. Even if I went for the UK certification, I would not be allowed to ship organic teas back to the EU or Northern Ireland. Unless I would jump through even more bureaucratic hoops and pay for it. I prefer to spend my time otherwise, if I am really, brutally honest. Like tasting and finding new teas and infusions for my customers, for example. Or coming up with new tea creations and blends.
If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to get in touch. I am happy to help.