Photo from Flickr user rprice84. Creative Commons licence.
I can't manage without a cup of tea first thing in the morning. After that I'm set up for the day and turn to decaffeinated coffee, and usually Fairtrade if I can find it. I've noticed in England a much larger range is now available, though less so with tea it seems.
Tea was first planted in Malawi in 1878 and commercial production started in 1880, so Malawi was something of a pioneer for Africa, but times have changed and growers are not managing to realise the prices that the Kenyan market does.
There are various initiatives which are hoping to reverse this trend:
- Development of identifiable brands associated with Malawi.
- Processing of green tea for the East Asian market.
- Charity auctions where the proceeds are donated to AIDS orphans and other good causes.
- Production of "sustainable" teas such as Malawi Garden Tea whose production directly supports the growers, their families, and the local community of the Kawalazi tea plantation in Malawi.
- Tourism such as Traidcraft's Meet the People Tours and tea estates, such as Satemwa and Lujeri Lodge, which provide guesthouses for hire.
Something new (to me anyway) I noticed on the Satema site - white tea. Anyone for a cuppa?
Main source: Inter Press Service