Happy International Tea Day!
As I sat here today drinking teas cultivated from two different countries and in two very different styles I cannot help but consider how lucky I am.
Now I must admit when I learned that it was International Tea Day, I immediately assumed it was just another holiday to support (and possibly market) my favorite drink. I obviously could get behind that.
However, as I looked a little harder and read deeper on the subject, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Yes, International Tea Day (ITD) is a celebration of tea, but it is so much more than that.
Began in 2005, ITD was the product of a two day conference in New Delhi, India. The conference brought together “worker leaders and small tea growers representatives from various tea growing countries including: Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Malawi, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam.
The focus of the conference was to discuss the deteriorating situation for tea workers and small tea farmers. More specifically they wanted to address the rights, treatment, and safety of the workers, establish fair trade practices and treatment for small scale tea farmers, and promote the overall interests of tea workers and growers.
At the conclusion of the conference they decreed that December 15th would henceforth be recognized as International Tea Day. This day would serve as a reminder of what was laid in the conference. Further, it would serve as a beacon for the industry, shinning light on this very subject, promoting the rights and livelihood of tea workers and growers everywhere.
As I reflect on this further, it is important that I say that you to all of the people that take part in tea. The journey from the ground to my cup is not easy… it takes so much care, coordination, and ultimately love for tea, to get it there.
So on this day, I say THANK YOU to all of those who devote their time and energy to bringing tea to the world.