July17 , 2024

Economic Empowerment Through Tea: Kumaon Tea Opens First-of-its-Kind Farmer-Owned Factory

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Economic Empowerment Through Tea: Kumaon Tea Opens First-of-its-Kind Farmer-Owned Factory

Kumaon Tea Farmers

Kumaon Indian Tea Farmers 2

Kumaon Indian Tea Farmers 2

Kumaon Indian Tea Farmers

Kumaon Indian Tea Farmers

The regeneratively farmed single-origin tea from this forgotten tea region will be available to sell in November

The current system for making and buying tea is broken,. Tea companies and consumers can’t figure out who actually grows their tea because there are so many intermediaries.”

— Kumaon Tea Co-Founder Raj Vable

MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES, June 21, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — A first-of-its-kind tea company, focused on smallholder farmer equity and restoring fallow tea lands for generations to come, has opened its doors in India. Kumaon Tea, a trailblazing partnership between smallholder farmers in the Indian Himalayas and U.S.-based Young Mountain Tea, will have their first samples of the regeneratively grown, single-origin teas in September. U.S. grocery stores, specialty tea shops, restaurants, cafés and other potential buyers will be able sell the organic black, white and green teas come November.

Last month, inside the top floor of the factory, Kumaon Tea held its ribbon cutting with the new farmer-owners in attendance, alongside funding partners Frontier Co-op and USAID Cooperative Development Program, to celebrate the opening of the factory.

“The current system for making and buying tea is broken,” said Kumaon Tea Co-Founder Raj Vable. “Tea companies and consumers can’t figure out who actually grows their tea because there are so many intermediaries. Meanwhile, tea farmers aren’t earning enough to support their families. It’s a supply chain that’s failing all actors.”

Kumaon Tea is single origin, grown at high elevation in the rich Himalayan soils of Kumaon. Using cutting edge, precision processing technologies, the new facility will offer tea with distinctive bright and complex flavors, thanks to the health and quality of the 170-year-old heritage Kumaon tea bushes, some of the oldest in India. These flavors far surpass the flat, one-note offerings of lower quality blends.

In addition to offering a far superior product, Kumaon Tea is posing an opportunity for a new livelihood for these local tea farmers. Kumaon Tea’s aim is to connect farmers with the thriving U.S. specialty tea market, allowing the farmers to restore their fallow land and revive their tea plants, creating a sustainable path for economic growth. This transformative approach is a departure from the industry’s colonial legacy that has prevailed for centuries, ushering in a new era of economic resiliency and autonomy for the local farmers.

Kumaon Tea shifts the ownership of tea factories from large faceless entities into the hands of rural, smallholder farmers. Kumaon Tea’s farmers (90 percent of whom are women) will be able to earn five times commodity rates for their harvest and will receive additional income through their collective ownership in the factory.

“Even though tea is the most consumed beverage in the world, second only to water, there are lots of concerns about its future due to labor challenges, the detrimental long-term impacts of climate change and complicated global market dynamics,” said Vable. “We hope our model serves as a blueprint for that can be replicated and improved upon, so we can all collectively raise the bar on transparent sourcing, regenerative agriculture, and smallholder farmer equity.”

This October, Kumaon Tea is hosting a tea tourism trip to Kumaon. Guests will experience every step of their tea’s journey, from seed to plant, from processing to cup. Guests will tour Kumaon Tea’s brand new specialty tea factory while learning about tea cultivation, processing, biochemistry, and more. Proceeds from the experience go to the tea farmers.

To inquire about wholesale tea pricing and availability, contact Raj Vable at [email protected].

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About Kumaon Tea:

Kumaon Tea is a pioneering partnership between smallholder farmers in the Kumaon region of north India, Young Mountain Tea, and other international partners such as USAID Cooperative Development Program and Frontier Co-op. Kumaon Tea puts the ownership of tea factories and the land into the hands of rural, smallholder farmers. Committed to sustainable practices and economic empowerment, Kumaon Tea is set to redefine the tea industry. This joint venture will produce its first batch of regeneratively grown teas in summer 2024, with four styles of loose leaf teas arriving in the U.S. for sale by November 2024.

For more information about Kumaon Tea, visit kumaontea.org, and sign up to join the newsletter.

For media information or interviews with Kumaon Tea Co-Founder Raj Vable, contact Emily Tracy at 919.449.4803 or [email protected].

Emily Tracy
ROOT Marketing & PR
+1 919-449-4803
email us here

Originally published at https://www.einpresswire.com/article/721902291/economic-empowerment-through-tea-kumaon-tea-opens-first-of-its-kind-farmer-owned-factory