I am eagerly awaiting my first shipment of Elephant FriendlyTM Assam black tea from the Spring flush harvested last month.
I am so excited to bring this tea to my customers and share the wonderful story that goes along with it! I was approached by Marina Richie and Lisa Mills with the Elephant FriendlyTM program based out of Montana just a few months back. I met with them and they told me all about the hazards that many tea farms create for Asian elephants in India. These tea farms are located where the elephants live, and conflict and loss have been the result, on both the part of the farmers and the elephants. Elephants are attracted to the pesticides that some tea farms use, resulting in the elephants getting into the pesticide storage and consuming a fatal amount. Many of these farm also use trench irrigation. These trenches pose a threat to elephants moving through the farms, as they can be injured by stepping into a trench. Many baby elephants are born in these tea fields and have been known to fall in the trenches and drown. Another risk to the elephants is electrical fencing that is in poor condition. The elephants can get caught up in the fencing.
The Elephant FriendlyTM cetification process is all about teaching farmers how to operate their farms in a manner that is safe for the elephants and good for their farms. Tenzing Bodosa is the first farmer to receive this certification. Growing his tea organically means that their are no pesticides for the elephants to get into. He is leading the way in operating his farm so that elephants can move through his farm, give birth in his tea fields and not encounter risk. His farm is inspected on a regular basis, to ensure that it continues to operate in a manner that doesn’t put elephants at risk.
I knew I wanted to be involved right away and was very excited about this certification program and the positive impact it will make on the Asian elephant population going forward. The best part for me, was when I tried the Assam tea that comes from this special farm. The tea tasted as good as the good that was being done, where it is grown. I’m proud to be offering this special tea to our customers soon. We are a couple weeks away from the tea arriving here in Bend. As soon as it arrives, I will spread the word, so everyone can experience this special tea!
I have also been told, that we will be the first tea company to offer this tea in tea bags. Having our own pyramid tea bagging machine on site allows us to offer this tea in pyramid tea bags right away. Since we use a plant based fiber material for our tea bags, our bags are as healthy as this wonderful tea.
Learn more about the elephant friendlyTM tea program by visiting their web site. https://elephantfriendlytea.wordpress.com/