Vancouver, BC (June 11, 2013) – Established for over a decade and best-known for their range of coffees, Level Ground Trading has been working for the last two years on a selection of Direct Fair Trade, whole leaf teas.
They worked again with past-collaborator, Subplot Design Inc., who helped rebrand the company and packaging back in 2010.
The teas are available immediately at select retailers and online here.
Five tea varieties are available at launch: Black, Chai, Green, Oolong and Smoked Black Teas, and are sold in a 70g package (28 servings).
All teas are:
+ Loose leaf
+ Hand plucked
+ Hand processed
+ Small-scale cultivation
The full Level Ground Trading Packaging, Identity & Brand Case Study can be viewed HERE
Back labels tell the stories of the producers and their families
As always, Level Ground Trading worked directly with growers and producers, this time in Assam, India.
“We worked directly with the Small Tea Coop and five tea growers to bring this range of teas to life”, says Laurie Klassen, Level Ground founder and lead on the tea project. “By visiting India and meeting directly with the people who grow these teas, we are able to offer them premiums above even Fair Trade prices and help create the best product possible.”
By going direct, Level Ground is able to support a market for hand processed teas grown without chemicals. By selling finished tea directly to market rather than selling fresh leaves to large tea factories, these small tea growers earn significantly more money.
“Not only that, but when growers sell their fresh leaves to large factories, the leaves just get mixed with conventional, chemical-spray teas and the marketplace never gets a chance to access organically grown tea”, addsKlassen. “The factories use the organic leaves as a method to dilute the overall chemical load in their export teas. And we just think that’s not right”.
Level Ground Trading currently purchases tea from four small tea gardens in Assam, India. Each garden is between 3 and 12 bighas (1 bigha = approximately 1/4 acre). All the gardens operate using organic practices and no chemical sprays or fertilizers. The tea growers own and operate the tea gardens and rely on the sale of tea as their primary source of income.
All of the processing of the tea is done by hand in very small drying facilities that each tea garden has setup themselves. Each tea garden employs between 5 and 20 labourers.The Fair Trade premiums on the teas are being dispersed to the labourers in each tea garden, and are being used from purchasing piglets and goats for the labourer’s families, to purchaging large water filters for homes.