Metropolitan Tea is an active member of the Ethical Tea Partnership
ethical tea practices since 1978

Since 1978 when some company personnel began in the tea business, we’ve seen many advancements in the way tea is produced, marketed and distributed. The Ethical Tea Partnership is one of the more positive developments we’ve seen over the years.

North America’s first member company
Metropolitan Tea was the first non-UK firm to join when the ETP opened membership to North American companies in 2003.

What is the ETP?
The ETP is an initiative started within the tea industry to monitor and regulate the living and working conditions on tea estates. The organization is run and regulated by member companies and bolstered by regular external audits by Price Waterhouse Cooper. (The global accounting firm responsible for tabulating and guarding votes for the Academy Awards.)

A transparent view of the tea trade
The goal of the organization is to provide consumers with a complete understanding of where tea is grown and manufactured. Everything from fair compensation to health coverage, housing and childcare comes under close scrutiny.

Note: The ETP is similar to the Fair Trade organization, but has a much broader scope for tea consumers since its focus is on tea only. Because tea is not a publicly traded commodity like coffee, Fair Trade is unable to penetrate many of the nuances and regional peculiarities of the tea trade.

Where the ETP also differs from Fair Trade is primary focus. Fair Trade’s focus is mainly on economics. The ETP is a socially and environmentally directed organization. This can be helpful since an economically based model, where higher prices are paid in the developing world, can leave the door open for unscrupulous companies to bolster lost margins elsewhere along the supply chain.

  • In some instances it is becoming clearer that purchasing ETP certified teas is the best way to ensure that your teas were produced in an ethical manner.

Ethical tea tastes better

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