Faith-Based and Slave-Free

Many churches, temples and other faith-based organizations serve coffee, tea and cocoa to their attendants. Increasingly these groups want to see their consumer choices reflect a heart for justice and compassion, so many are turning to Fair Trade and other ethically grown products. Why the switch? Cocoa farms in West Africa grow most of the … Continue reading

Tea for Two Billion

With almost two billion people in the world living in extreme poverty, any highly sought-after commodity has the power to hurt and the power to heal. As one such commodity, tea can provide a generous income, a chance for education, a spiritual ritual, and affordable medicinal help for the world’s poorest communities. But tea can … Continue reading

Unsweetened by the Slave Trade

“It is at this price that you eat sugar in Europe.” – maimed slave from Voltaire’s Candide From Kool-Aid to Fruit Loops to Dr. Pepper to Jimmy Dean’s “Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick,” we hungry Westerners have one thing in common – and no, it’s not just the resulting diabetes: we like … Continue reading

Tea: Debt and Migration

Who knew that a regular job producing a commodity the entire world consumes could lead to so much insecurity? Many women across the globe pick tea leaves in an effort to feed their families and provide education to their children. Despite the rain-or-shine, labor-intensive duties and low pay, the job provides income and, in many … Continue reading

HIV on the Tea Farms

Over the last decade, stories have surfaced about a growing epidemic on Kenya’s tea plantations – an increase in HIV at an alarming rate. Tea pickers near Kericho, Kenya – by Ed Roberts The plantations pay very little, and working on one can be a very difficult life. Mothers wanting to make money for their … Continue reading

Tea and the Marginalized

There may be no greater connection between one world and another than tea. In tea we pick the grasses and leaves of our native lands and ship them to another people who look and think differently than we do. Those people prepare the grasses and leaves in water and consume their essence. We drink the … Continue reading

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