Quartet Tea & Saffron
This item includes:
• 1g saffron from Afghanistan
• 100g organic green tea “Silver Shan”
• 100g organic black tea “Golden Shan”
• 80g organic black tea “Red Amber”
• Journal “Voices of Afghanistan”
• Journal “Voices of Myanmar”
Where does the tea come from?
Squeezed between two major regional powers, China and India, the Union of Myanmar is home to 140 different ethnicities. After decades of isolation and mismanagement, the country is now slowly opening up to the world but it is still struggling with internal tensions and several ongoing civil wars.
In the remote mountains of the Shan State, in North Myanmar, we discovered tea rarities growing wild and pristine between macadamia trees and teak giants. These teas are cultivated and harvested by the Ta’ang people, one of many ethnic minorities that are seeking acknowledgment and independence in the long-lasting conflict.
We are delighted to say that this Conflictfood tea is the first of its kind that has ever been sourced from the Ta’ang to Europe. Tea is not just a way of life for the Ta’ang, it is an integral part of their identity. Their ancestorscultivated the very first tea plants, Camellia Sinensis, thousands of years ago in today’s Shan-State and China’s province of Yunnan. These traditional methods have been passed down the generations and are still used today. By trading with these people, the history of tea making can continue and we can help support the future generations of tea makers.
Find out more about this amazing country and its people in the journal “Voices of Myanmar” which is included in each Peace Kit.
What’s the social impact of this tea?
The biggest difficulty facing farmers and entrepreneurs from North Shan is that ongoing conflicts within the region make trading an unattractive option to international traders. Conflictfood’s trade relationship with the Ta’ang not only guarantees that farmers receive a fair and steady income, it also supports their identity and ensures that the ancient tradition of tea making is kept alive.
The Ta’ang farmers have recently organized themselves to form an association. They invest parts of their income into training workshops and classes to improve their knowledge of harvesting techniques. This new knowledge can be combined with traditional practises and passed onto the future generations of tea makers.
Where does this saffron come from?
Where opium plants once grew, an independent women’s collective now cultivates Conflictfood saffron. The collective is based in the province of Herat in Western Afghanistan, a region which is often referred to as the “Cradle of Saffron” and has been certified three times as the Best Growing Region Worldwide.
Products sourced from Afghanistan stand virtually no chance on the world trading market. Producers are faced with many problems; partly relating to international trading regulations and the inefficient processing of raw materials, but mostly that, despite the quality of a product, traders are often reluctant to travel to Afghanistan due to the ongoing conflict.
This opportunity provided by Conflictfood to bring saffron into the European market offers this women’s collective – and Afghanistan as a whole – more economic possibilities and peaceful prospects.
What’s the social impact of this saffron?
The women’s collective is paid fairly, directly and on-site by Conflictfood without any intermediaries. This money is used for daily expenses, to send their children to school and is also invested back into obtaining saffron bulbs for the next harvest season. In this way, long term trading relationships can be created.
The taste of peace!
Conflictfood engages in fair and direct trade with small-scale farmers and entrepreneurs in conflict regions. Direct trading helps to strengthen local structures and create long-term economic stability which tackles the causes of migration at the root.
We travel in search of local delicacies which reflect the identity of the land and its people. Our journey uses social enterprise to challenge the way we think about our own consumption and how we relate to today’s global challenges. Consumption is always political. Choose Conflictfood – the taste of peace!