Fair Trade Certified™ Tea Takes the Stage at World Tea Expo as Demand Grows

Fair Trade USA supports tea industry growth with staffing boost, increased on-the-ground support.

OAKLAND, Calif., June 4, 2019 – Fair Trade USA®, the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America, recognizes the potential for significant growth in the sustainable tea category, as evidenced by sales that are outpacing the conventional tea market. The nonprofit organization has responded by onboarding additional international field staff and partnership development team members, and increasing outreach to producer communities to ensure the growing demand for high-quality Fair Trade Certified™ tea can be met.

The tea industry’s U.S. market growth, with a predicted compound annual growth rate of 1-3 percent for the next five years, is being driven by millennials who are consuming more tea than have previous generations. Today’s younger tea consumers are seeking high-quality products and transparency around how and where their tea is produced. Sales of fair trade tea have gained momentum, as evidenced by one upscale, national retailer whose fair trade tea sales grew 14%, outpacing its conventional tea sales which declined by 1%. This increase is in line with Nielsen’s recent report noting a 5% sales growth for fair trade CPG products over sales of less ethically and sustainably sourced products.

Fair Trade USA has responded to this growth by onboarding new international field staff based in India and partnership development team members in its Oakland headquarters. This growing team will enhance support to national brand and private label manufacturers, increase presence at trade shows and industry events, and amplify communication of the impact and transformation within tea-producing communities.  The addition of new international field staff expands the organization’s ability to onboard new estates, offer trainings and capacity building support directly to tea workers, more effectively monitor and evaluate the impact of fair trade on the ground, and coordinate development projects funded by Fair Trade USA partners.

“Tea is staple fair trade product that has been available in the U.S. for decades, and there has always been a steady demand from conscious consumers who want to feel good about their daily ritual,” said Jodi Beasley, Partnership Development Manager, CPG at Fair Trade USA.  “The difference now is that we are seeing a new generation of millennial consumers make ethical and sustainable tea a more mainstream product – and they too want to ensure that it was sourced in the best way possible.”

Celebrating a 20-year anniversary in 2018, Fair Trade USA enables sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, fishermen, consumers, industry and the earth. Since 2001, more than $6.8 million in Fair Trade Premiums have been directed towards tea-producing communities, supporting projects in infrastructure development, education, health, and safety. 

Fair Trade USA will exhibit at this year’s World Tea Expo from June 10-13 in Las Vegas. This event is the hub of the North American specialty tea market, with four days of educational sessions and more than 260 suppliers and vendors from 22 countries. Interested parties are invited to meet the Fair Trade USA team at booth #325, and visit fair trade tea partners, including several event sponsors:

  • DMH Ingredients
  • Firepot Nomadic Teas
  • Firsd Tea
  • Harney & Sons
  • Hunan Tea Group
  • International Tea Importers
  • Lifetime Tea
  • Pure Ground Ingredients
  • QTrade Teas & Herbs
  • The Tea Spot

Representatives from Fair Trade USA are available for meetings at the Expo. Reach out to Heather Walker to schedule a meeting.


About Fair Trade USA

Fair Trade USA® is a nonprofit organization and the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America. Its trusted Fair Trade Certified™ seal on a product signifies that it was made according to rigorous fair trade standards that promote sustainable livelihoods and safe working conditions, protection of the environment, and strong, transparent supply chains. Rather than creating dependency on aid, Fair Trade USA’s model empowers farmers, workers, and fishermen to fight poverty and earn additional money to improve their communities. Recognized as a leading social venture by the Clinton Global Initiative, the Skoll Foundation, and Ashoka, Fair Trade USA also helps brands and retailers tell their stories of impact and educates consumers about the power of their purchase. Visit FairTradeCertified.org for more information.

Katie Schneider, Sr. Manager of Communications, Fair Trade USA

Heather Walker, Partnership Development Specialist, Fair Trade USA
(510) 663-5260ext. 387