In a country like India, with more than 840k tonnes of tea consumption every year, many might wonder about the significance of International Tea Day.
To begin with, the first ever International Tea Day was celebrated in New Delhi, on 15th December 2005. Although, the idea of establishment of International Tea Day existed for many years, the first decisions were made in 2005 after the World Social Forum in Mumbai. And since then, ITD has officially been observed on 15 December every year, giving us an opportunity to reflect on the impact of an industry, that millions of farmers and workers across the globe depend on for their livelihood.
International Tea Day is observed in many tea producing countries like India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda and Tanzania. The day surely celebrates tea but there’s lot more to it – there’s a purpose and agenda. The day aims to spread awareness about the tea producing countries, the tea growers, their communities and the trade of tea. It draws global attention of governments and citizens to the problems of tea industry, tea production and the impact of the global tea trade on the workers.
The global tea industry is facing many challenges that require immediate attention and must be faced together. Some of these include undervaluing of tea as a commodity, effects of climate-change on tea production & quality, gender equality and very low wages of the tea workers. Thankfully, on the brighter side, there are global organisations like Fairtrade and Ethical Tea Partnership that are working together to address these problems and make the future of the tea industry more sustainable.
We believe if we are well aware about the tea that we drinking, we can demand improved situations and salaries within the industry. We also have the option of choosing fair trade and organic. When we purchase organic tea, we support a healthier living and better salaries for hundreds of tea pickers worldwide.