The Lost Tea Company strives for sustainability in every area of the company
As firm supporters of the UN Global Goals initiative, The Lost Tea Company strives for sustainability in every area of the company. This includes the physical environment of the plantations and establishing fair sale prices.
All of the products we sell are sourced from organic smallholder farmers. A fair and direct means of payment is central to our ethos. By not dealing with large private and government corporations we guarantee the farmers receive a fair price for their tea.
There are many other reasons why working with smallholder farmers is so important to us, these include: Empowerment and community responsibility; Guaranteed quality of product; Biodiversity; Environmental benefits; Personal connection to food; and Economic foundations
OUR COMMITMENT TO THE PLANET
The benefits of small farmed agriculture over large farms are numerous:
Large farms tend to use much more machinery for harvesting whilst also applying chemicals, whereas all our tea is organic and also handpicked, contributing far fewer harmful greenhouse gases.
Small farms are often more productive, and are much more biodiverse. Large farms tend to plant a monoculture as they are the simplest to deal with machinery. With no machinery, smallholders are much more likely to plant mixtures, intercropping. For example, many of the tea farmers we source from grow ginger root in amongst their tea bushes, producing our ginger tea. This not only increases biodiversity, but is another source of revenue.
An area occupied by small farms employs far more people than an equivalent area occupied by a larger industrial farm. This has many benefits to the local economy, not only in employment, but the trickle down effect employment brings to local businesses.
Retail food and beverage packaging can be extremely wasteful. We are taking all the steps we can to minimise our waste and impact on the environment. These include:
Pivoting away from single use plastic to sell our lahpet, adopting glass jars for our lahpet, and biodegradable packaging for our Bean & Nut mix.
Using plastic free packaging for our drinking tea. Using a plastic liner inside our tea tubes would extend shelf life, but we don’t think this is a price worth paying to contribute to the single use plastic crisis. We also sell paper refill packs of all our dried tea flavours.
We only sell loose leaf tea, and will only sell until an environmentally viable option for tea bags is available. Paper based tea bags contain a sealing plastic, to keep their tea bags from falling apart. This plastic is not recyclable or biodegradable. A truly sustainable tea bag will be available very soon, the technology is close, but we will continue to only sell loose leaf tea until then.
As an online retail business, an essential part of getting our products to you is via the post or courier. It is dismaying to see how much waste there is in the postage world, especially in respect to single use plastic, and bubble wrap.
Our efforts to minimise our contribution to this cycle of waste include:
Only using FSC rated recyclable cardboard boxes to send out orders.
Only using eco-paper tape instead of polypropylene-based sellotape
We have a hatred of plastic bubble wrap and we refuse to use this form of protective packaging. We use paper based filler in our postal boxes, and instead of wrapping our glass lahpet jars in bubble wrap, we create a cardboard casing, re-using cardboard boxes we receive.
We try to reuse all the postal packaging we receive as a business. Whether that be re-using the filler in our online orders, or re-allocating the cardboard boxes into making protective casing for the glass products we send out.