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October 18, 2016


What does the consumer know about fair trade?

                                Fair trade can be fraught with problems when trying to determine the level of awareness of the consumer. Beyond the superficiality of not wanting to consume a product that was produced through human suffering, a somewhat nefarious and general assertion, what exactly does it mean to consciously seek out a product, coffee or tea, in the main, that is...

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August 05, 2016


Main import countries for Darjeeling tea. Canada "far beyond Eden".

The latest data from tell us that from July 05. - August 03.2016 the bulk of Darjeeling tea was exported to Germany (46.93%), The Netherlands (20.15%) and Japan (12.47%). This is a total of 79.55%! The forth-largest importer during this period of time are the US (7.12%), followed by Canada with 2.31%. If we compare the value of the Canadian import (16,520.18USD) with that of Germany (335,749.17USD) we clearly see that Canada is still...

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July 28, 2016


Tea Planters and GI: A Happy Marriage?

I recently had occasion to speak with an American academic who has written extensively on Darjeeling.  We discussed GI briefly and her findings about attitudes towards the system in the region among tea garden management. I was surprised, but, not shocked to learn that planters are not necessarily in favour of the system given that it adds expense to their production process. This finding by the individual gave me pause for reflection on what the...

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July 04, 2016


Tea Associations of The US and Canada visiting Darjeeling

Although Darjeeling tea is recognized as one of the world´s finest teas, it is still unknown to the majority of tea drinkers. But there is hope! Based on the fact that consumers in North America, especially in the United States, develop a taste for premium tea, a delegation of the US and Canadian Tea Associations, as well as the US based Specialty Tea Institute, plans to visit tea producing areas in India, with a focus...

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July 03, 2016


Ottawa Tea Festival 2016

In a post regarding the 2015 Ottawa Tea Festival I wrote: "The 5th... Ottawa Tea Festival will be held in March 2016! Details will follow." Here are the details: There will be no Ottawa Tea Festival in March 2016! And there is a good chance that there will be no Tea Festival at all in 2016! Kimicha Uriu, the organizer of the festival, told me this morning that she is unable to take care for...

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June 27, 2016

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The Customer’s Brand

Who owns the Darjeeling Tea brand? From the perspective of the Tea Board of India, the producer owns the brand. Modern marketing would seem to indicate otherwise, especially with the advent of social media. As a consumer purchasing certified organic tea of the highest quality, and, telling others about the tremendous value afforded by Tea Campaign’s product offer, in a sense, the consumer owns the brand. Why would this be the case? What it means...

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June 25, 2016


Geographic Indication (GI) as a development strategy for an origin

Over the next couple of months, I will be undertaking to do some research related to Geographic Indication. I'll be asking the question of how efficient it is for an origin producer of a commodity product to use GI as a strategy for economic development and product recognition. Here's what I've seen so far: 1) In the Global South, the most successful instance of GI has been Colombia. The ubiquitous and famous Juan Valdez and...

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