Leveraging 'People' Power of Sustainability

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Aei4eiA signs MoU with the legendary Mr. Rajah Banerjee- Certified Organic Darjeeling Tea forays into Australia

Aei4eiA collaborates with Mr. Swaraj Kumar (Rajah) Banerjee, [Champion of global organic tea movement, Chairman of Makaibari Tea Estate (the first tea factory in the world and the first tea garden in the world to attain Organic Certification) and President, T' Classic (Darjeeling) Pvt Ltd], to import and introduce Premium Certified Organic/Biodynamic Darjeeling tea to Australia under the brand name ‘Maya TM of Australia – Organic Darjeeling Tea’ and support the Organic Farming Movement and Sustainable Development practices.

Sydney, 26 January, 2017: Aei4eiA, whose name has been derived from the Greek word meaning ‘sustainability’, is now taking another significant step ahead in that direction. In the past few years, through its research and multiple initiatives, Aei4eiA strived to bring to the fore the significance of sustainable development practices wherein women’s economic empowerment could be a significant lever. In its own capacity, it has also been helping to further strengthen people­-to-­people links, trade and bilateral relations between Australia and India by harnessing the positive qualities, common bonds, shared values and interests that connects both the countries. On this occasion of Australia day which also coincides with the Indian Republic day, we take this significant step forward.

Australia and India share many commonalities- one is its love for tea and tea is well blended into both the cultures. Darjeeling tea-a rare, coveted and which is exotically flavoured is grown only in Darjeeling, India and cannot be grown, manufactured or replicated anywhere else in the world. The unique agro-climatic condition of the region contributes to its distinctive flavour and aroma. According to the official sources, each year, around 10 million kg of tea are grown in 87 tea gardens spread over 17,500 hectares of land. But over 40 million Kg teas are sold worldwide as Darjeeling.
Darjeeling, is the only tea growing region in the world which has 80% of her plantations Certified Organic.

However, Darjeeling tea, which is a pioneering product of India and has the world­wide acclaim of being the
'Champagne of Teas’, has yet to reach the local consumers to the extent it should have been. Therefore, under the able guidance of the legendary tea maestro Mr. Rajah Banerjee, a fourth generational tea planter at Darjeeling, a Champion of global organic tea movement, Chairman of Makaibari Tea Estate (the first tea factory in the world and the first tea garden in the world to attain organic certification) and President, T'Classic (Darjeeling) Pvt Ltd, it is our endeavour to make available Authentic, Pure, Premium Certified Organic and Biodynamic Darjeeling tea to consumers in Australia. Our tea that will be available under the brand name ‘Maya of Australia – Organic Darjeeling Tea’ carries the following certifications- Fairtrade, Demeter, USDA, JAS and EU Organic. The premium tea from Makaibari Tea Estates will also be available for the discerning tea connoisseurs.

Here is what Mr. Rajah Banerjee has to say about this venture-
“I think the collaboration between Aei4eiA and Makaibari will be an excellent one as it not only goes to the source of origin procuring the exotic Darjeeling tea for the Australian consumers but also educates the masses about the tea.

As many are aware, what ‘Champagne’ is to wine ‘Darjeeling’ is to tea. Interestingly, Darjeeling produces 10 million Kg of tea (annually) but globally annually 40 million Kg of teas are consumed as Darjeeling. However, today, consumers are getting very savvy and the moment they get something which is true, well certified, documented, with loads of health benefits and which says that it is 100% Darjeeling... a new window opens up.

At Makaibari, we pioneered organics to global tea and in the last 25 years we were able to inspire 80% of the Darjeeling tea estates to switch to Organic and even to Biodynamic standards. Our credo has been that 'healthy soil is healthy mankind'. I think this cut across any divide- social, political and environmental because all human beings are dependent on the Earth for their food intake as well as the beverage intake. Most people, especially youngsters, today look for the certified organic that is safe for their health and for the environment. They are also sensitive towards fair trade because that ensures that wherever the tea is bought from, a certain percentile is going back for the upliftment of the community.

We do also hope that this collaboration will strengthen bilateral relations between Australia and India and also enhance cross-border talks in a holistic way. So when we talk about holistic synergies, we are not talking about standing still in time just now, it is fine to do it properly but if we do it magnificently then generations to come will benefit from it and that is the ethos of sustainability. The collaboration between Aei4eiA and Makaibari will therefore be a unique one off synergy. I think nobody has done this before”.

Finally, women, who form majority of the workforce in this tea producing ecosystem, play a significant role in the sustainability of the industry. Darjeeling tea, which is grown at an altitude of over 3200 ft at the foothills of the Himalayas in India, is that of finest qualities in the world. This ethically sourced, carefully crafted, premium, single origin, organic tea is more of an art. The sight of a mother (a tea-picker) holding a 'tea-leaf' while at the same time carrying her child in her pouch is a sight- that is quite common. And that, in a way exemplifies the nature/nurture bond. Thus, through the 'mother and child' image on this product, we pay our respect to all those women working in the tea gardens while nurturing both their human child as well as the industry.
It is in their nature to nurture and that help produce the best tea (both in terms of flavour and aroma) in the world. However, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting- so why not have a go!

Happy Australia Day & Happy Indian Republic Day!

For further information please contact:
Dr. Jayantee Mukherjee Saha