Sustainability at Teekampagne
Sustainability is a buzz word of today's world - but the concept behind is common sense since centuries: If you want to secure tomorrow's resources, you have to ensure their survival today by responsible and longterm oriented actions. Back in 1731 Hans Carl von Carlowitz explained this with regards to forestry in his work Sylvicultura oeconomica.
In 1985 Günter Faltin established corporate responsibility as the foundation for Teekampagne's business model.
Ecological production, fair trade and social working conditions are part of the concept that uses economic structures to show how this better kind of economy can work in practice.
His credo: Those who are willing to leave the conventional paths of intermediate trade, omit unecessary marketing expenditures and don't aim for profit maximisation can offer high quality at a very affordable price.
Teekampagne proves its value-for-money-leadership every day by offering high quality fair traded organic tea from India at very budet friendly prices. Why is that important?
Sunstainable economy will only become mainstream if people can afford the products.
Teekampagne's business model that balances ecological, social and ecomonic aspects has won a couple of awards. In April 2021 Teekampagne was one among 346 international companies competing in the Gold Trophy of the European Green Award. Teekampagne won the prize in the category 'Green Marketing / Campaigning' . The international jury of experts appraises green products, projects, events, hotels and change makers in the field of sustainable development.
The European Green Award is a contribution to accelerate the European transition to a modern, resource efficient, fair and competitive economy.
In 1992 we have started a reforestation project in Darjeeling - to protect the precious top soil from erosion and also to sequester CO2-emissions from the environment.
According to studies most of the carbon stock property in a tea garden lies in the soil.
Right from the start in 1985 Teekampagne has encouraged its producers to refrain from using chemical pesticides and fertilisers but rather practise organic agriculture. One kilogram of tea from organic cultivation generates only half of CO2-emissions than tea from conventional agriculture.
One determining factor when it comes to CO2-emissions is the means of transport. Transport by ship is more eco-friendly than by lorry, in tons per kilometre a ship emits 12 to 15 times less CO2 than a lorry. To reduce road haulage is one aim to improve the eco-balance. We also refrain from air-freighted "Flight tea" in the beginning of the First Flush season as CO2-emissions of a plane will be up to 230 times higher than by container ship.
Doing without intermediate trade helps to reduce road haulage. Our tea needs to be transported to Kolkata from where it is shipped to Europe - either Rotterdam or Hamburg. From our packing facility the tea will be directly shipped to you. We don't engage importers, wholesale traders and retailers, we can avoid the packing and re-packing of tea, and we can keep transportation by lorries as low as possible and reduce CO2-emissions considerably.
Our standard size is the 1000g-package - one large package instead of many small packages helps to reduce packaging material and labels multiple times. Tea has a long shelf-life so it is very well suited for a bigger sized packages - even more so, as we ensure that our high barrier packaging material protects the precious content as best as possible while being as eco-friendly as possible too.
Due to our online shop and the bundled shipping we don't have to distribute our tea to retailers by lorry and you don't have to drive in your car to the next tea shop. The parcel carrier of DHL will deliver your tea right to your doorstep. By ordering your yearly supply of tea and storing it inside your home we establish a good ratio of energy costs per unit area. And if you invite your friends and colleagues to order their tea along with you, we will even get better at energy and cost saving - an order value of more then 100 Euro will be shipped free of cost for you to any destination within mainland Germany.
Reforestation in DarjeelingTo fight soil erosion in the steep hills of Darjeeling Teekampagne/Projektwerkstatt founded a reforestation project back in 1992 which is called Save the Environment and Regenerate Vital Employment or short: S.E.R.V.E. In 1996 we won WWF-India as a partner to organise the project as it fits perfectly into their area of focus on the Eastern Himalayas. Up to date the project is solely funded by us and more than three million saplings have been planted.
While reforestation still remains in the center of activities there are many more like training on vermi-composting, eco-tourism, apiary and water spring restoration to name a few. Many people in the region engage in the activities from nature clubs in schools to drawing competitions and SERVE employees have even been invited to the famous Buddhist temple in Dharamsala where the Dalai Lama resides, to teach about rainwater catchment techniques.
If you want to read more about our sustainability project please refer to our download area.
Our sustainability project in TonganagaonIf we look back on our involvement with Darjeeling since 1985 we see that there has been a lot of improvement. Two thirds of the tea gardens are under organic cultivation and the living standard in general has been raised. It's still not reached to where we want to be but a lot ot things are on the right track.
Since 2017 we procure tea from Assam and of course it is our aspiration to leave a positive impact there as well. Organic agriculture is rather an exception than a rule there and also the living standard in the tea gardens is lagging behind in comparison to Darjeeling. As our tea is almost exclusively from Tonganagaon our focus is for the time being mainly on that estate. The partner for our project is the Seva Kendra of the diocese in Dibrugarh. They told us that access to education is what's most needed to provide a better chance for the future. Hence we helped to finance the extension of a primary school in Tonganagaon. In May 2019 we could witness the inauguration ceremony of two new classrooms completely equipped not only with tables, chairs and boards but also with solar lightning and fans. The funds even allowed to purchase some toys for the playground. The school is not only for children whose parents work on the tea plantation but may also be attended by kids who just live in that area. In the evening the rooms are used to teach grown-ups reading and writing. In order to enable pupils to attend a secondary school further away we bought a school bus.