Our High Quality Standards
NOP (National Organic Program) of the USDA (US Dept. of Agriculture) since 2008
Our organic products are supplied by tea producers who do NOT use conventional pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers or sewage sludge-based fertilizers.
In strict accordance with the guidelines of the NOP, We prevent the mixing of organic and non-organic products and prevents organic products from coming into contact with prohibited substances.
- Our NOP program integrates the principles of HACCP, GMP, C-TPAT, COR and European Organic to ensure a quality and consistent organic product.
- Annual audits – An annual audit is conducted to ensure that all NOP processes are in order and proper documentation is maintained.
COR (Canadian Organic Regime) of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency since 2011
Our organic products are supplied by tea producers who do NOT use conventional pesticides, petroleum based fertilizers or sewage sludge-based fertilizers.
- In strict accordance with the guidelines of the COR, We prevent the mixing of organic and non-organic products and prevents organic products from coming into contact with prohibited substances.
- Our COR program integrates the principles of HACCP, GMP, C-TPAT, European Organic and NOP to ensure a quality and consistent organic product.
EU Organic of the Organic Farmers and Growers (OF&G) Certification
System of the European Union since 2011Our organic products are supplied by tea producers who do NOT use conventional pesticides, petroleum based fertilizers or sewage sludge-based fertilizers.
- In strict accordance with the guidelines of the OF&G certification system of the European Union, We prevent the mixing of organic and non-organic products and prevents organic products from coming into contact with prohibited substances.
- Our OF&G Certification System of the European Union integrates the principles of HACCP, GMP, C-TPAT, COR (Canadian Organic) and NOP to ensure a quality and consistent organic product.
GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) since 2006
Protecting the suitability and safety of our tea products in the key to our success.
Our extensive GMP program outlines effective company policies and procedures for the following:
- employee hygiene
- hand washing
- proper use and storage of clothing in our facility
- use of appropriate footwear, headwear, equipment and utensils
- employee health and injury status
- regulated traffic flow throughout our facility
- chemical usage (kept to a minimum)
- identification of allergens and related controls and procedures (where appropriate)
All employees undertake thorough training to ensure understanding and competences in all facets of our GMP program. Training is delivered on an ongoing basis.
All personnel follow personal practices to further prevent the contamination of our products:
On all production floors the following are prohibited:
- gum chewing
- spitting, sneezing or coughing over tea or tea contact surfaces
HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) since 2006
HACCP is a program designed to assist in analyzing the product cycle from the raw ingredient stage to the finished product.
A 2 year process – We underwent a rigorous 2 year process to obtain HACCP certification.
Annual audits – In order to maintain our certification, we are audited annually to ensure that all processes and documents are maintained.
HACCP is based on 7 established principles:
- Conduct a hazard analysis. We determined all potential hazards and identified preventive measures to control these hazards. In the case of tea, a hazard is any biological, chemical, or physical property that may make it unsafe for human consumption, ie, agricultural input residue.
- Identify critical control points. Critical control points (CCP) are any point, step or procedure in the tea manufacturing process where control can be applied and hazards can be prevented, eliminated or reduced.
- Establish critical limits for each critical control point. Critical limits represent the maximum or minimum extent to which any physical, biological or chemical hazard must be controlled to prevent or eliminate hazardous conditions.
- Establish critical control point monitoring requirements. Constant monitoring of all steps of tea manufacture is necessary to ensure control at each identified critical control point.
- Establish corrective actions. In the event that our strict monitoring indicates a critical limit of any recognized hazard, established actions must be taken immediately. Our plan of action ensures that no contaminated product will ever reach our customers’ shelves.
- Establish record keeping procedures. We thoroughly document our hazard analysis, established HACCP plan and all records pertaining to the monitoring of critical control points, critical limits, verification activities and the handling of processing anomalies.
- Establish procedures for verifying that the HACCP system is working as intended. Continual testing is required in order to ensure that our HACCP system is working. Our plan is audited on an annual basis.
Ethical Tea Partnership
Our Tea source 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
We were one of 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.