Bridgehead's green tea, orange pekoe, and lemongrass come from Bio Foods (PVT) Ltd., Sri Lanka. Bio Foods' main areas of business are organic cultivation, harvesting and processing quality organic green teas, black teas, naturally flavoured teas, herbal teas, spices and fruits. In fact Bio Foods was the first company in the world to receive Fair Trade Certificaton for spices.
Bridgehead teas are grown by the Small Organic Farmers' Association (SOFA) in Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is one of Bio Foods' most successful programs through which organic green teas, special black teas, medicinal herbal mixtures, spices, fruits, vegetables are hygienically produced for export markets.
Bio Foods has made substantial investments on research and development in improving the Tea Industry in Sri Lanka. Close supervision and controls have ensured consistency and high quality. Bio Foods, an environmentally friendly organization in Sri Lanka, minimizes the usage of artificial materials including packaging in order to prevent pollution.
Most of our black tea comes from Tea Promoters India (TPI) a Darjeeling-based family operation that manages six organic and biodynamic gardens. Their philosophy is farming harmoniously with nature. They developed holistic and sustainable farming practices that have restored soil health, with plants & animals reappearing in these areas. Each tea garden has an ecological development plan to prevent erosion and channel monsoon water.
TPI has also been a pioneer in the fair trade movement bringing social change to the tea industry in India. They support small tea farmers by helping to gain access to international markets and fair prices for tea. There is a host of social programs that have been developed with fair trade premiums including: high school scholarships, health projects, housing support alternative energy projects to name a few.
Mannong Ancient Tea Association is located in southern Yunnan province, near the city of Jinghong in Xishuangbanna region which borders Burma. It now has 244 families. Yunnan tea is renowned for its large leaves which are traditionally used in the production of black teas and the famous Pu'er tea, the only truly vintage tea fermented. The tea leaves from Yunnan, known locally as "Yunnan Da Yeh," are collected in three villages that make up the association - Manmai, Old and New Mannong Mannong - between 1 400m and 1700m. Xishuangbanna region is mainly populated by ethnic minorities, particularly the Lahu and Hani, whose skills are historically linked to harvest these teas so special.
The Fairtrade premium has funded many projects. Before the establishment of fair trade partnerships, the water used in the villages came primarily from a pond. Since 2008, the association has invested in a network of 25 kilometers of pipe that connects a mountain spring to the village houses. Furthermore, the premium was also used to fund scholarships for children Mannong to cover their pension to send in schools surrounding towns. Infrastructure projects have also helped to rebuild roads linking communities to the nearest villages providing Mannong producers with easier access to local markets.
The Enshi Xuan En Yulu tea gardens in the Hubei province of China have been established for over one thousand three hundred years. The plantation was renowned for producing teas for the Imperial Palace and its gardens lie at an altitude of between 700 and 1000 metres. All teas produced by the tea gardens are organic and fairtrade. The loose fertile soil is ideal for growing green teas and we have selected a high quality green tea for you to enjoy.
Xuan In Yulu is located in the mountains of Hubei Province in central China, near the city of Enshi. Hubei tea is well known for these small leaves, famous for green tea and Oolong teas. The 507 farmers cooperative cultivate their tea between 800 and 1200m and are distributed among six villages that joined together as a cooperative in 2009.
Fair trade has allowed producers in Xuan Yulu to improve their organic growing methods and diversify their sources of income. Traditionally, producers of the coop earned income with the spring harvest from local markets. Through the establishment of partnerships, fair trade ensures regular volumes throughout the harvest period (March to October), providing a steady income. Fair trade premiums have helped build a field hospital and improve roads.