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At PekoeTea we take the principle of Ethical Trading seriously. We believe that this policy should cover the entire length and breadth of our business; from our sources of supply through to our workers in the UK, and the way we present ourselves to our customers.
It is very easy for companies to state that they “buy ethically from accredited sources” without really describing what this means.
We want to actively encourage our customers to look beyond such statements, to ask questions and not to take ethical claims like this at face value. There is no such thing as 100% ethical trade – achieving it would be impossible, and no-one should be making this claim. We can however, keep working towards it as an ultimate goal, even though we may never get there. We will always look at how we can do things better to improve conditions in every aspect of our industry and we relish this ongoing challenge.
Ethical Tea Partnership
We are members of the Ethical Tea Partnership.
The ETP works with tea producers and smallholder farmers in its members’ supply chains to help them meet internationally recognised social and environmental standards. The ETP is helping to improve tea sustainability, the lives and livelihoods of tea workers and farmers, and the environment in which tea is produced.
In addition to our membership of the ETP we are always looking for ways to go further. We are making efforts to deal with small family growers and estates directly, paying their asking price based on the high quality of the product. We believe growers should be encouraged to spend their resources on producing better, more sustainable products that can be sold at much higher prices than Fair Trade minimums. We also believe that asking a producer to pay for costly certifications and audits can, in some cases, stifle product development, actually making them worse off.
Honesty and Transparency
Unfortunately many tea companies exploit the general public’s lack of knowledge about the tea supply chain. We have a policy of complete transparency when it comes to our products and services. We always endeavour to do the following:
UK Living Wage
We think it is important to implement an ethical policy that doesn’t just stop at the borders of our own country. One of our aims as part of our ethical policy it to actively work towards paying our UK staff the Living Wage as set out by the Living Wage Foundation. We are a small business but as we grow, this is something we aim to achieve within the next few years. We currently pay above the so-called government “Living Wage” for all workers no matter what age.