Sourcing & Ethics
Suki Tea Makers are proud to source the best tasting, honest cuppa – More than just a stamp
Businesses have incredible powers and with that comes incredible responsibility. Suki Tea Makers are in a position to show leadership and radically change and influence consumer behaviours. We’re serious about our responsibilities and that’s why we hold ourselves to the high standards of independent certification when sourcing our teas. So far, so fair, but we NEED to go further…
With many of the world’s tea plantation workers still living and working in a constant cycle of poverty and sustainability being pushed up the agenda in recent years, embrace our mission:
‘to build a global community of loose leaf tea drinkers, an appreciation society of the ritual in great tasting, HONEST tea’
People, plant, Planet
We care about people, plant and planet. From open and responsible sourcing, to protecting the farmers who grow the tea and their families, and by selecting only teas that have been hand plucked we ensure that the integrity of the tea plants remains intact.
Favouring ethical supplier practices and operating in a more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable manner are the cornerstones of everything we do. Where possible, we aim to offer teas and products that have been sourced from accredited farms, gardens and providers.
$300,000 in Fairtrade Premium – putting fairness first
Over the last decade, our sourcing of Fairtrade certified tea such as our Breakfast Tea and Belfast Brew has meant over $300,000 of the Fairtrade Premium that we elect to pay over and above the price of our tea per kilo, has gone direct to the tea farmers to democratically decide how they will invest that money in their community development and their future for themselves and their families. It is a simple choice for us as a business to advocate Fairtrade and make a difference to the lives of the people that grow the tea we love. In a volatile market, the tea farmers also benefit from the Fairtrade minimum price safety net.
At SUKI Tea Makers, we stand up for fairness and equality for the tea farmers to enable them to have secure and sustainable livelihoods. The farmers can then create change for the better by using their Fairtrade Premium funds to become more resilient to climate change by investing in climate-friendly farming techniques, to educate their children, to develop women in leadership, and to improve their communities.
“Through sourcing certified teas like Fairtrade and Organic, we can be confident that our tea producers are operating sustainably, while at the same time improving the lives and working conditions of their staff and their families as well as their local environment and of course, the quality of the tea itself.”
Anne Irwin, Managing Director.
How does our Fairtrade Premium contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
Fairtrade Premium investments made by tea farmers and workers contribute to many of the SDGs. SDG 2: Zero Hunger (39% of spending) aims to achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, in this case through spending on agricultural tools and inputs including fertilisers, crop storage and infrastructure. 21% of Fairtrade Premium spending contributed to SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. This mainly included contributions to subsidised shops or goods for workers and transportation for workers. 20% of Fairtrade Premium funds contributed to SDG 4: Quality Education, including school meals, computers and uniforms.
Thank you to all our customers – through you choosing to buy our Fairtrade Tea you are showing businesses and governments that you believe in a fair and just trade. We are proud to state that, from our extensive range of teas, 54% of our kilos sold in 2020 were Fairtrade certified. To learn more about Fairtrade visit FAIRTRADE FOUNDATION
The popularity of these teas is testament to an overall growing consumer demand for ethical purchasing, a trend we actively encourage among of community by providing an ethically-sourced, great tasting, high quality cuppa. So sit back, relax and be confident that you two have joined our community of loose leaf tea drinkers, that you are doing your bit to support people, plant and planet by enjoying a cup of SUKI tea.
We’re in it for the long haul
We develop enduring relationships with suppliers who share our principles and adhere to our strict sourcing policies, mitigating risk and building trust in those long-standing partnerships. Our aim is to source all tea products, ingredients, accessories and packaging in the most ethical and sustainable way. Although many of our teas carry at least one certification such as Fairtrade, Organic, and Rainforest Alliance, and are thus subject to these audits on their gardens, we understand that the tea industry is considered high risk on issues of Human Rights and Modern Slavery. Our strict Supplier Approval System places modern slavery factors at the top of the agenda, a pre-requisite to doing business and reviewed regularly. As a minimum, the supplier will adhere to the standards set out in the ‘Ethical Trade Initiative’ ETI Base Code, an internationally recognised code of labour practice. Explore more about the ETI Base Code here:
“The glamour of a tea trader could be wiped out with couriers and email but it’s always been very important for us to know who is involved at picking level upwards, how the tea is produced and what the processes used are.
You can never learn enough about the process or taste enough. Travelling to source is a crucial part of our ethos about being transparent”
Belfast Boutique Loose Leaf Tea Blender, Suki Tea, first set up in 2005 by business partners Anne Irwin and Oscar Woolley, has become a strong contender in the UK’s Loose Leaf tea market.
Located south of the eastern Himalayas, and one of the biggest tea producing regions for Suki Tea.
Climate Action Pledge
Businesses have incredible powers and with that comes incredible responsibility.
Having sourced teas from Tanzania origin, East Africa for many years these trips have been well documented.