General Goals of the Fairbiotea System
Development partnership between importer, producer and third Country Control Body
The founders of Fairbiotea gathered practical experience in the import of organic tea for three decades. From this experience, they developed a sustainable and professional system of organic quality management.
It focuses on organic consulting, development and control, sustainable organic cultivation processes and a monitored processing in the organic tea factories. It includes a development plan with additional quality-assuring measures and standards, which positively complement the statutory control system of the EU regulation on organic farming.
Fairbiotea is a private initiative, which was instituted in order to make the production of tea fairer, more transparent and more sustainable. In addition, through the Fairbiotea seal, trade and consumers are made aware of high quality, transparent organic tea projects and products.
Fairbiotea was founded in 2007. Intercultural barriers are often more difficult to overcome than expected. Barriers that are caused by the international economic system and the lack of national and international labour law are even bigger. The aims that Fairbiotea wants to achieve can be implemented only very slowly. In certain matters, Fairbiotea simply does not have the possibilities or enough freedom of action. Many people from cultures outside Europe, especially from Asia, not only lack the consciousness and knowledge about environmental protection and fairness, but also the very willingness to comply with regulations and to fulfil agreements. Moreover, there is almost always a lack of financial resources.
In these structures, the advisory role of Fairbiotea is as important as an independent, effective organic control system that is capable of disclosing violations against the ecologic agriculture. The currently existing control system, organised according to European standards, even after more than 25 years of adjustment is not effective enough to expose all the violations. The controls are often negligent and are not taken seriously by many producers. Organic certificates are still given to producers, who are neither able, nor will ever be able to observe the EU regulation for organic farming as well as the hygiene and quality management prescribed by the European food law.
New goals for Fairbiotea resulted from the practical experience. The undisguised report from the Fairbiotea projects creates intercultural understanding on both sides and conveys the actual circumstances of the organic cultivation free from any marketing.
Fairbiotea campaigns in Europe for the improvement of the organic control system in third countries and builds intercultural bridges. Competent authorities and organic control bodies are responsible for the implementation of effective control standards. Fairbiotea supports authorities, organic associations and organic control bodies with information from its organic tea projects, so that the control system can be adapted to practical reality.
In 2017 the Fairbiotea system has been expanded to a development cooperation with selected tea gardens in China.
An even closer cooperation with third country organic control bodies and with sustainability certification organisations is sought, in order to intensify the control also in all those non-regulated sectors.
With regard to prevention and minimisation of environmental contaminations, the hygiene and quality management receive a higher value in order to meet the European regulations and the expectations of the consumers.
Exploitation and abuse must be stopped. Therefore, a stronger focus will be redirected towards the conditions in tea gardens concerning labour rights and welfare.
A new selection process for producers has been introduced.
Henceforth organic tea producers can apply for a development partnership with Fairbiotea and are subjected to a selection procedure. There is a catalogue with a list of requirements that the candidate must fulfil in order to be accepted as a partner of Fairbiotea. The producers must consent to cooperate, be willing to further develop and to invest in their development, by implementing year after year a part of the Fairbiotea development plan. The member companies themselves determine how fast to proceed with their development. Fairbiotea and the organic control bodies accompany, monitor and evaluate the development process in a continuous way.
Development is only possible when sufficient financial resources are available. Based on competitive prices, Fairbiotea guarantees in the long-term a specific purchase quantity, which provides regular earning and thus planning stability for the development partner.
The former members of Fairbiotea remain part of the Fairbiotea system and do not have to apply once again.
The initiative supports the organic producers and their employees by reporting about the real work and life conditions. The situation in the tea gardens is made transparent and thereby the awareness of consumers and the distribution of sustainably cultivated tea varieties are raised.
A membership in Fairbiotea means a steady cooperative further development, mutual sense of responsibility, support and conscientiousness as well as a cooperation of all parties as equals.
Fair trade can only evolve if it is lived also by the trade partners themselves. This implies a cooperative behaviour from both the producer and the trader, a constant exchange about the development and fair and complaisant contract conclusions for both sides.
Fairbiotea requires from domestic and foreign trade companies the willingness to take on more social and economic responsibility for agricultural producers in developing countries.