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Jambo! Thanks for supporting JusTea! With your help our campaign has been very successful.
For those of you who were a bit late to the (tea) party... We are still offering our rewards!! Please email email@example.com to buy some of our Kenyan tea, it is fresh and tas-tea!
Rethinking Tea. Farmer Direct.
The JusTea team wants to bring social justice to tea farmers in Kenya. Although Kenya is the world’s largest exporter of black tea, almost 500,000 small scale tea farmers are trapped in a cycle of debt and poverty. Kenyan neighbours work hard together to support one another but lack opportunities. They are forced to sell their raw tea leaves for low prices to central processing factories. The tea then goes through many hands until it ends in our cups. Of the price we pay, only 1% of the money goes back to the farmer.
We plan to teach the Kenyan farmers to hand process premium quality tea. We want to create a partnership with them in order to sell their tea directly. This eliminates the factory processing and the wholesale middlemen, and therefore gives the farmers a fair profit. We want to re-connect tea lovers with the land and justice for the people producing their tea.
Detailed information also on our website: justeadotcom1.wordpress.com
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The Situation of the Kenyan Tea Farmers
The problem in the Kenyan tea industry is that the big guys control the small farmers’ lives - creating a terrible dependency. The monthly payment each tea farmer receives is not nearly sufficient to feed and educate their dependent families. In many cases the farmers take loans from microfinance lenders against their yearly bonus payments from tea. This ugly financial circle is common to most farmers with over 65% of the annual tea bonuses going back to pay for loans.
The World of the Tea Lovers
Why isn’t it simple? Why can’t you know exactly where the tea you are drinking comes from? Why can’t you enter into a relationship with tea farmers and producers? In the future, we envision the consumer and the farmer working together to create a world class tea that is worth being passionate about. Together, this vision can come true.
We don’t just want to give aid hand-outs. We want to invest in partnerships with the Kenyan farmers. We want them to become sustainable tea producers. Therefore, our first step is to bring in a tea processing expert and teach the farmers how to hand process loose leaf black tea. We want to establish a tea processing workshop and start a tea self-determined co-op in which the farmers process their own tea. We will enable them to sell this tea in a fair and direct trade partnership to western tea lovers. We want to invest in personal relationships between tea drinker and tea farmer. We want long-term, sustainable changes in the way we all experience tea. In order to guarantee fairness, JusTea will operate in a fully transparent and co-creative way.
Our basic goal of $35,000 enables us to train the tea farmers in hand-processing of orthodox tea, set up a basic tea workshop and sell a first batch of tea through our packaging center in Vancouver. However, this covers only the start of our project. Keep in mind that a portion of the money goes into the awesome rewards you get, so we don’t actually have the full $35,000 for our project.
If we reach $50,000, we can buy more elaborate tea processing equipment and permanent structures for our workshop. It becomes easier for the farmers to process the tea and improve quality. We can expand our teaching and processing activities.
Our next stretch goal is $75,000. With more money we can assist more farmers (3-4 times our original target) and set up more tea workshops. This in turn requires to include you in helping us expand our base of sales. We want to set up an internet shop and expand our sales network to tea shops in North America and Europe. With a growing number of tea drinkers, the Kenyan farmer's incomes will rise and this will affect the entire village.
If we reach $100,000 and beyond, we can expand our project to create a justice movement around tea. This will allow more and more farmers to get involved. Simply put, the more funding we receive, the more farmers we can empower. We would love to expand our project to other locations and other African countries like Uganda. Additionally, we are passionate about establishing organic farming methods in order to make the tea farms sustainable in the future and resistant against the effects of climate change and produce healthier, better tasting organic tea.
Who We Are
Our core team is an amazing mix of awesome people. We all have experiences in different fields. We are entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, marketers, promoters, designers, activists, tree planters, strategists, cyclists and of course tea lovers. From building the first mountain bike in Canada to diagnosing fuel cells to launching a ceramic co-op in Ghana, we’ve done it all. This diversity is our strength. We are ready for every challenge. The one thing we all have in common is our sense of justice and our passion to partner with Kenyan farmers.
If you want to get to know us better, see our bios below.
We want to bring Kenyan tea to you. While we hope that next time we will offer you a tea made from our very own tea processing workshop, for now we sampled a variety of Kenyan loose leaf orthodox tea. Together with our tea expert The Teaguy (www.theteaguy.com), we selected a nice Kenyan Pekoe as a reward for you. It’s exquisite, rich, malty flavor just blew our minds! It is great with milk, makes a good breakfast tea and is a fabulous tea while relaxing in the bathtub. Pour it over some ice cubes and squeeze some lemons in it to make an irresistible iced tea!
The Teaguy will also use this tea to create an exclusive African Chai just for this campaign. It’s spices and exotic flavors will bring the taste of Africa right in your cup! Add some sugar or boil it with milk in the traditional Kenyan way. Each package contains a postcard with detailed brewing instructions and authentic, personal Kenyan tea stories.
Aside from buying a package of tea we offer you tea subscriptions over 6 or 12 months. We send you a reusable limited edition tea can, which we keep filled up for a whole year. This way you always have fresh tea at home or in your office. Note that 1-3g of tea make 1 cup.
In order to fully enjoy your tea you need the right cup. Vancouver artist Britta Fluevog (www.brittafluevog.com) created a limited amount of one of a kind small tea cups just for this project. Her design is as unique and appealing as our tea. If you want something special, go for one of her very limited spiky tea cups!
Do you want a more personal connection to the tea and the tea farms? Adopt a tea bush! We will give each tea bush a unique, handmade plaque with your name on it. We will send you pictures of your personal tea bush and give you the opportunity to chat with the farmer that maintains it.Or even create your own tea blend together with our tea expert The Teaguy, give it a fun name and recieve a promotion package full of your tea and accompanying goodies (content negotiable, contact us for details!).
Generally, we aim for the cost of material and shipping of our rewards to be about 50% of the price (this does not include any salaries for our team). The other 50% go towards the project and help funding our plans (see stretch goals). We think that is a fair deal, but if you want to contribute a little more to our project you can always increase your donation. If you live in Vancouver, picking up your reward helps increasing the amount that goes towards our project.
(Music in the video from orphansongs.com)