|Organically Grown Tea
|The growing of organic tea is relatively new, dating back only seven to ten years.
The rules under which organic tea is produced are fairly complicated and tightly
controlled. The tea crop must be grown without the use of chemical fertilizers,
pesticides or herbicides. It relies on totally natural organic matter such as com-
post, dung, and plants and trees to provide the necessary nutrients and ground
|With the world facing a global climate crisis, there's
more information daily on the threat of chemicals to
not only our health, but the health of our world. Not
only do chemicals directly affect the ground, but the
food grown in it.
But it's the emissions released during their manufac-
ture that has an even greater impact on the environ
ment. The harmful emissions given off during the
manufacturing of chemicals has been directly linked
to global warming.
It's up to all of us to do our part to stop the killing of
our earth. Going organic is a great place to start, for
the environment, your health, and that of your loved
|There are two categories of organic tea production:
1) Tea that's certified organic by one of several international agencies
2) Tea that's grown according to traditional methods, following the principals
of organic growth, but not validated by a certified agent
When a tea is labeled "certified organic", it has met the conditions by at least
one of the regulatory agencies having established guidelines for organic food
That's not to say that all non-organic certified teas contain chemicals and are
unhealthy. But for those consumers interested in long term health for both themselves and the
environment, there is a system in place that recognizes the fine qualities and flavor of organically
Some tea has been grown organically for centuries, in spite of codes or set rules. These tea
estates have simply followed tradition in growing their tea, following age-old agricultural
principals set down by their ancestors, and their ancestor's ancestors, using secret methods and
traditions known only to the tea grower.
And even though there are more and more tea drinkers worldwide, in the U.S., Canada, the UK,
Western Europe (especially Germany), and the growing Asian middle class, who are demanding
high quality organic teas, the production is driven mainly by cost. The cost ratio (and other
factors) of producing organic tea definitely affects the production, both now and in the future.
|Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS)
Japanese government identifies all certified products. Managed by the MAFF, Japan's Ministry of
Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, the JAS law regulates the labeling of agricultural products.
The Soil Association (England)
Founded in 1946, The Soil Association is a private agency founded by a group of scientists,
farmers, and nutritionists. A charity that's funded solely by its members and outside donations,
The Soil Association is the main organic organization in the U.K., with its symbol being the most
trusted and recognizable organic mark.
Demeter-International e.V. (Germany)
Demeter-International e.V. is the international trademark for products certified from Biodynamic
Agriculture worldwide. Located in Darmstadt, with principal offices in Germany, Belgium, and
Singapore, its membership is contractual and based on adherence to Biodynamic Agriculture, a
method originated by Dr. Rudolf Steiner in his agriculture course, dating back to 1924.
Other Organic Regulatory Agencies
There are many other natural agricultural-control agencies, as well as private and state certified
programs. Depending on the type of certification and/or the country in which the tea will be re-
tailed, it may carry a government, or private-independent certification, or both.
Of the better known certifying agencies whose logos you might see, there's Germany's International Federation of
Organic Agriculture Movements, Switzerland's Institute for Marketecology, California Certified Organic Farmers,
and California's Quality Assurance International. Enjoy.
|For more information or to learn more about tea, visit our other pages:
How do I choose the right tea for me?
What are the main types of tea?
What is Fair Trade and how does
Scented teas-a fragrant and refreshing
treat for the taste buds.
So who is Earl Grey, anyway? Learn
all about blended teas.
Does tea provide any health benefits
Where is yellow tea made?
What is yerba mate and where is it from?
What is "terroir" and how does it relate to tea?
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| To verify the tea you're purchasing is organic, look for the logo
or stamp of the regulatory organization that has set the stan-
dards for organic tea production. The five most reputable regul-
atory organizations, with the highest standards, that you're
likely to see are:
United States: USDA National Organic Program (logo
The USDA (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture) developed a set of national organic standards in the
1990's. They were activated in 2002 under the legislation known as "USDA National Organic
Program", or NOP for short.
The legislation requires all organic products be certified by an independent agency approved by
the USDA, and that products labeled "organic" must be certified according to the guidelines set
forth by the legislation.
Under the NOP there are four categories of
organic content: 100% organic, 95% or more
organic, 70% to 95% organic, and less than
70% organic. Products are required to have
the appropriate official label of the USDA.
European Union: Regulation No. 2092/91
The European Union is the largest organic
marketplace in the world and was the first to
enact governmental legislation in regard to
organic production and marketing. The orig-
inal regulation was drafted in 1991, going in-
to effect in 1992.
Since then Regulation No. 2092/91 has been
modified, clarified, and amended and at 95
pages, is quite comprehensive. It's also the legal
basis for the production, processing, and trade of
all organic products in the twenty-seven countries
of the European Union, as of 2007.
Products labeled "organic" must be certified according to these guidelines and then may be
identified with the official label of the European Union. There are only two categories of
"certified organic" allowed; one for products containing at least 95% organic ingredients, and
one for products containing 70 - 95% organic ingredients.
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The Tea Detective's Gift of Tea Store