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.
We are always looking for ways to take ethical trading 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:
- Identify, if asked, which of our products are sourced through direct trade and which through 3rd parties.
- Not to provide misleading information about health benefits of individual teas.
- To be honest about our blended teas and not to claim to have blended or flavoured teas ourselves that have been blended or manufactured for us by others.
- Not to falsely imply we have personally visited particular estates or suppliers that we have never been to, and not to imply that certain products are supplied by the places we have visited when this is not the case.
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. We are proud to be an accredited Living Wage Foundation employer paying our UK staff the Real Living Wage as set out by the Living Wage Foundation.