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  • Writer's picturejohn snell

Tea, the 364 days between International days of recognition

International Tea Day is like a new puppy at Christmas, too easy to ignore during the rest of the year, yet we need to understand this 24 hour celebration as a springboard only, for conscious reflection and support for the people and environments in which this flavourful and healthful beverage is grown.

For Consumers, the fact that tea has been recognized by the UN in this way and NOT any other beverages should raise an eyebrow or two. Why tea and not everything else you pour down your throat? Well, from UN’s own website, herewith a commentary on selection of International day recipients.

“..The themes of international days are always linked to the main fields of action of the United Nations, namely the maintenance of international peace and security, the promotion of sustainable development, the protection of human rights, and the guarantee of international law and humanitarian action…”

That is a high hurdle indeed but nevertheless totally supportive of the UN recognition, tea being a crop produced by millions of people in least developed and developing nations of which over 60% are smallholder Farmers. The perennial nature of tea helps people put down roots and, therefore, has the power to engender community which delivers focus for services, from education to health and beyond.

That is not to say “Job done”, by no means but it is the recognition that tea has, through it’s sometimes questionable and long history, reached every corner of the earth and, as the most ubiquitous prepared beverage in the world, has enviable power in shaping and developing serious industries, their people and environments everywhere.

Without doubt, commercial sustainability and fixed populations can help to maintain peace and security but the promotion of sustainable development has to be at the behest of Consumers.

Consumers may see their demands as drops in the proverbial bucket but not so. Unlike many other prepared beverages which are the result of many significant manufacturing processes, tea is just that, tea leaves which you can watch unfurl in your cup (if you need the proof). This substantial difference means that there is a more direct connection between your cup and the Farmer that plucked the leaf, unfurling as you step, so your voice can reach him. So, unlike the hapless puppy, think of the tea Farmer and the positive impact that your tea habit makes, for the other 364 days in the year, after the fan fair of the day is over.

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