Tea is the most consumed drink after water which supports the data collected by the Australian marketing company Roy Morgan Research. In 2016, 9.8 million Australians preferred tea over other hot beverages with that figure increasing in 2019 to over 15.2 million.
While the benefits of tea drinking are widely known like boosting immunity and aiding in weight loss, what you may not realise is that your favourite tea may have been produced by workers forced to work in unsatisfactory working conditions.
International Tea Day on May 21 is not just about drinking tea, it is about recognising these workers who farm and produce your daily cup of tea. The tea industry provides a main source of income for millions of people in developing countries who work long hours in tough conditions.
This international day of tea recognition promotes the actions to implement sustainable tea production and consumption while raising awareness about working conditions and poverty.
When you sit down with your cup of tea on International Tea Day, give a prayer of thanks to those who work in the tea industry. Next time you are out shopping to replenish your tea supplies, take some extra time to research your favourite tea to ensure it is one that supports the rights of tea workers and fir trade. If not, perhaps switch to one that is.
The international tea day recognition was first celebrated in 2005 by unions of those local tea growers in Asia and Africa to bring attention to living conditions, low wages and fair prices of their precious commodity.
In remote areas with significant economic disadvantage, the tea industry plays a substantial role in rural development, job creation and reducing poverty in these countries. Tea is one of the most important import-export industries for their survival.