Small organic tea plantations
To achieve such superior flavour and maximise the tea’s antioxidant-packed health benefits, Joe shuns chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides and that’s why his chosen farms have such expertise when it comes to working hard all year round with the soil, changing seasons, pests and weeds – allowing them to cultivate the largest and strongest yields of tea without a chemical fertilizer or pesticide in sight.
As masters of the earth, Joe knows his partner farmers hold exceptional wisdom when it comes to pest and disease control too. Their expert knowledge (passed down over generations) has taught them simple yet effective non-toxic biological pest control. Keeping the ecosystem balanced and healthy, they harness cultiva, parasites, predators, pheromones and herbal sprays to control unwanted pests and diseases.
Helpful trees make happy tea
Shady trees such Albezia, Grilicidia and Lithosperma are planted around Joe’s tea bushes, providing shade and balancing nitrogen levels in the soil; not only that – as the farmers will only use their own natural fertilisers – once trees are mature the farmers harvest the leaves to create the perfect tea-friendly fertile compost.
Joe believes in sustainability, even when it comes to weeds. So every weed comes in handy, controlling them by hand without fertiliser obviously means more sweat and toil (pulling them out by hand in the dry season; slashing them down during monsoon season) – but they’re put to good use once collected, creating a nutrient-rich nourishing feast for the soil.
Joe knows just how hard the farmers work and how vital their knowledge is in achieving the exceptional quality of his tea blends, that’s why Joe’s Tea Co. pays all farmers a premium on top of their fair trade price.
Our chosen manufacturing facility employs over 300 dedicated Sri Lankans in Columbo and, to make sure they’re eligible for medical and life insurance, each and every one of them has a permanent position – making it the largest permanent workforce in the Sri Lankan tea industry. From daily nutritious meals and snacks, to the annual outing and Christmas and New Year party, all staff are well looked after.
Empowering female workers
To support female staff as much as possible, a club has been set up at the manufacturing facility to help address some of the key issues faced by Sri Lankan women.
More to life than tea
To genuinely support all factory employees and the wider society, The Love Care Change team was set up. Since starting, it’s successfully initiated many projects that make a significant difference to these hard-working people – from the popular Knowledge Hub and Outbound Training Programmes to the Annual Book Donation, Eye Clinic and more.
Sustainability and reducing carbon footprint
Reducing impact on the environment is important to Joe, so all our tea is shipped by sea rather than air and is packaged by hand (over machine), always using recyclable materials where possible. The farmers are constantly encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint too, while dealing with the challenges of erosion and waste management they continually analyse the best ways to protect their water supply, virgin forest and other vital land areas.