The 21st of May marks International Tea Day, a day to celebrate those who dedicate their lives to tea. Tea pickers, factory workers, professional noses. So many people work hard every day so that we can all have incredible tea to drink. International Tea Day was established to draw attention to a range of issues within the tea production industry and highlight the vulnerable situations many tea workers face. The holiday has been observed since 2005 and was initially celebrated on a small scale in tea-producing countries like India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya. However, thanks to the efforts of individuals in the Indian and Sri Lankan governments, it was proposed to the United Nations and eventually designated as an international holiday in 2019. The main goal of this day is to promote awareness of the importance of tea in certain countries and to encourage positive progress towards addressing issues within the tea production chain. These issues may include concerns related to the tea production process, such as climate change, or issues related to people, such as fair pay, poor living conditions, and sustainable consumption of tea.
We want to highlight the tea pickers that make our daily cup of tea possible. Tea pickers play a crucial role in the tea industry. They are the ones responsible for plucking the tea leaves from the plants. Plucking requires a great deal of skill, as it involves carefully selecting the right leaves while also picking quickly. It requires precision and an understanding of the tea plant. For high-end teas, the top two leaves and a bud are typically picked by hand before being taken back to the factory for processing.
Despite their crucial role in the tea industry, tea pickers are underpaid. They work in difficult conditions and are often paid very low wages, making it difficult for them to support themselves and their families. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed, as it affects the livelihood of a huge number of people around the world who are involved in the tea industry. However, the tea industry is a complex and multi-layered industry that lacks transparency. This makes it challenging to address the issues faced by pickers.
It’s essential to recognise the valuable contribution that tea pickers make to the tea industry. Without their hard work, we would not be able to enjoy the rich taste and aroma of the tea we love. The tea industry is an integral part of many cultures around the world, and we need to recognise and value the people who make it all possible. We need to support efforts to improve their working conditions and ensure they receive fair wages for their hard work. As small businesses and consumers, we must demand more transparency from the large companies that influence the tea industry. So whether you’re a tea lover or just enjoy the occasional cup, remember that behind every cup of tea is a dedicated and skilled tea picker who deserves our admiration and respect.