There's an argument that suggests a "fair trade" is any deal to which both parties agree. And this makes sense. If I'm willing to pay you a given amount, and you are willing to accept it, then there should be nothing more to say. The market sets the price, and this is how we buy our tea. Our Chinese partners produce it, they set the price, and we pay it. This is a fair trade.
Our decision to partner with Fair Trade USA is a wholly separate concern, but one which brings us back to the question of sustainability. The people of Jiangxi and Hunan Provinces who grow and process the tea we sell have been in the same business for generations. And, idyllic as it is, beautiful and fragrant as the fields are, China has traditionally been a place of limited social mobility. By partnering with Fair Trade USA, we allow our customers to help change that. The premiums we pay go directly into defraying the cost of school for the children of the communities in which we are doing business. This doesn't make the tea sweeter, nor more economically viable, but by helping kids go to school, we are able to effect positive change in the communities we support. Our tea is Fair Trade Certified not because omitting this registration would make it unfair, but because we see it as a way to one-up the market.
A cup of tea has been known to better many a day, and we couldn't be more thrilled that our tea leads to better days both for drinkers in North America and for producers in China.