• COP28 Declaration is Good News for Tea Smallholders | Sun Garden Tea Merges with QTrade Teas | Goodricke Group Achieves Carbon Neutral

    COP28 Declaration is Good News for Tea Smallholders | Sun Garden Tea Merges with QTrade Teas | It’s Easier Now to Attend Chinese Tea Tradeshows | Goodricke Group Achieves Carbon Neutral Tea Production

    Tea News for the week ending Dec. 8
    Hear the Headlines | Seven-Minute Tea News Recap
    India Tea News | Aravinda Anantharaman

    In the 1990s and early 2000s, curating a catalog of 200 direct-sourced teas, establishing a small chain of neighborhood tea shops, launching a formal tea school, and selling tea online to people worldwide was pretty ambitious. Twenty-five years later, Montreal-based Camellia Sinensis, having survived pandemic peril, has emerged with vigor in a configuration admired for its innovative approach to experiential retail. Camellia Sinensis even helped finance a factory in South India to produce tea on demand. Partner Kevin Gascoyne joins us during the company’s 25th Anniversary year to share valuable insights and a few missteps while traveling a long path to success.

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    Kevin Gascoyne on the 25th Anniversary of Camellia Sinensis tea in Montreal, Canada

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    Nepal-based civil society group Digo Bikas Institute holds an action on loss and damage during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) at Expo City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photo by Christopher Edralin UN/COP 28

    UN: Bring the Vulnerable to ‘Front of the Line’ for Climate Funding

    By Dan Bolton

    A Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action adopted by 134 delegates to COP 28 UAE will provide $2.5 billion to address agriculture-related climate issues.

    The declaration was accompanied by the announcement of several related initiatives, including a $200 million agriculture-related research partnership between the UAE and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam Mohammed Almheiri said, “Countries must put food systems and agriculture at the heart of their climate ambitions, addressing both global emissions and protecting the lives and livelihoods of farmers living on the front line of climate change.”

    According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, some 3.5 billion people, nearly half of humanity, live in areas highly vulnerable to climate change. OCHA climate team head Greg Puley told the conference’s participants on Monday that it was a “grave injustice” that people on the frontlines of the climate crisis who were least responsible for it, too often found themselves “at the back of the line” for climate funding.

    Commentators and agriculture experts say COP 28 recognized the important link between food and climate in the declaration. Delegates affirming the statement represent 5.7 billion people, including 500 million farmers. The UN Conference of Parties resulted in the Paris Accords in 2015, signed by 200 countries that agreed to limit long-term global temperatures from increasing above 1.5C. Temperatures currently stand at 1.2C compared to pre-industrial times. Estimates suggest temperatures will increase by 2.4C to 2.7C by 2100. The window for keeping within the 1.5C limit is “rapidly narrowing,” according to the UN.

    Unilever called for urgent climate action. The company, still a major player in tea, has a visible leadership role in investing in renewable energy, switching to low-carbon feedstocks as alternatives to fossil-fuel-based chemicals, and pledging to protect and regenerate 1.5 million hectares of land, forests, and oceans by 2030. The company said it is already sourcing 93% of its electricity from renewable sources.

    “The world isn’t reducing emissions quickly enough to meet global targets and avoid climate breakdown,” writes Unilever, adding that it “calls on governments attending COP 28 to increase ambition and accelerate actions urgently, we can go further, faster in the race to net zero.”

    COP 28 Advisor Edward Leo Davey told VOA that genuine implementation of the declaration “will represent a significant positive step forward in the lives of smallholder farmers.”

    Farmers were encouraged to adopt sustainable practices, including organic farming and agroecology, to reduce harmful agrochemicals, conserve water resources, and protect soil health.

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    Episode 146 | COP28 Declaration is Good News for Tea Smallholders | Sun Garden Tea Merges with QTrade Teas | It’s Easier Now to Attend Chinese Tea Tradeshows | Goodricke Group Achieves Carbon Neutral Tea Production | PLUS Kevin Gascoyne. a partner at Montreal-based Camellia Sinensis shares valuable insights, innovations and a few missteps blazing a 25-year path to success. | Episode 146 |

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  • India Update: Goodricke Carbon Negative | Plucking Ends for Winter | Another Dooars Garden Closes

    By Aravinda Anantharaman | Managing Editor

    India Tea News for the week ending Dec. 8
    India Tea News | Aravinda Anantharaman
    Goodricke Tea is Carbon Negative
    Goodricke Tea is Carbon Negative

    Goodricke Group Can Now Boast Carbon Negative Status

    Goodricke Group Ltd. recently announced the results of a carbon emission study in its five Darjeeling gardens and has announced that they are carbon-negative. The independent study showed that 11,026 tonnes of CO2 were absorbed by the agroforestry in these gardens as opposed to 1,732 tonnes being emitted. The company, which produces 700,000 kilos of tea from Darjeeling each year, is hoping this will add greater market value and a price premium as a climate-conscious single-estate tea.

    Plucking Ends in North India for the Winter

    The Tea Board of India has announced the last date for plucking tea leaves for the year as December 11th for Darjeeling, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand and December 23rd for the Dooars, Terai, and Bihar. Processing dates are December 13th and December 26th, respectively. Plucking will continue uninterrupted in the south.

    One more Dooars Tea Garden Closes

    Rheabari in the Jalpaiguri district of the Dooars saw overnight closure by the management. The estate has about 1,750 workers. The Telegraph reported that the management had recently asked workers to move to 8-hour work days, 1 hour longer than the current work day. The workers who worked two shifts, 7 am to 11 am and 1 pm to 4 pm, did not accept this. The state labor office has taken cognizance of the situation and is working to reopen the garden.

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