Both Rianne and I visited Sri-Lanka already at a young age, it is our birth country after all.
Visiting one of ‘the’ tea countries in the world, created awareness for this industry, maybe even on a unconscious level.
And when we started with Beleaf & Co it was obvious we would love to work with Sri-Lanka, but even more important,
trade had to be fair and equal, direct trade was the answer!
Type in direct trade online and you will quickly see it relates to the coffee and chocolate industry.
According to the web direct trade is a form of sourcing practiced by certain coffee roasters and chocolate makers who build direct relationships with the farmers and processors who sell them coffee or cocoa beans.
Now we are no coffee roasters or chocolate makers, but also as tea fanatics we do believe in direct relationships with farmers. For us it is all about sharing more of the value created in producing countries with producing countries. In other words, helping the people who grow our tea enjoy a bigger chunk of the R30 we spend on our cup of tea.
‘We visit the farms we source our teas from and meet the people behind your cup of tea. We share stories and learn from each other. We would not only like to offer you the best quality teas, but we also would like to secure fair pay and equal opportunities for our tea partners and their communities and accomplish this via direct trade.’
So instead of buying our teas from tea auctions, we go straight to the farmers. In this way we cut down on quite some steps in our supply chain, which is the start of giving more money back to the producing countries.
At this moment we do not package all our teas in the producing countries, but instead we choose South Africa. We deliberately made the decision to give back to our current home country in order to create local jobs!