Tea Promoters of India (TPI), Mineral Springs Cooperative, Potong Cooperative
Region: Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
Tea Promoters of India TPI has been a pioneer in bringing environmental and social reforms to the tea industry. TPI is a Darjeeling-based family operation that manages six organic, Fair Trade tea gardens. In addition, TPI is supporting small tea farmers and helping them to get access to the market and a fair price for their tea.
The Mineral Springs Cooperative was one of the first small farming initiatives in the plantation heavy region of Darjeeling. The land that cooperative members live on was a tea plantation in the early part of the century but abandoned in the 1950s. The community has since depended mostly upon subsistence farming of corn, millet, potatoes and vegetables. Small local sales of ginger, cardamom and oranges provide some of their income. TPI has been working with the Sanjukta Vikas Cooperative to help them develop quality standards and market their tea.
Small Organic Farmers Association (SOFA) and BioFoods
Region: Gampola and Uva, Sri Lanka
Our partners in Sri Lanka are the Small Organic Farmers association and BioFoods. Tea is grown by the smal landowners of SOFA and processed by Biofoods. The SOFA project began in 1993 with the vision to establish a prosperous community living in harmony with the environment, and today there are over 1,600 participants. Unlike mono-crop plantations that strip the land of its nutrients, SOFA farmers grow a variety of crops including pepper, cloves, and ginger, which help to preserve the land.
Wupperthal Original Rooibos Cooperative (WORC)
Region: Cederberg Region, South Africa
Wupperthal Original Rooibos Cooperative (WORC) is a democratically organized group of small-scale farmers who have grown Rooibos in South Africa for generations. The Wupperthal farmers were pushed off the most fertile land in the 1800â€™s and later endured the apartheid era. They grow food in the very dry, rocky soil of the Cedarberg Mountains which presents a big challenge for most of their crops. With Rooibos, however, the slower growth and lower production has resulted in notably higher quality than plantation Rooibos which is grown on the most fertile lands.