Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Whole Trade Guarantee: Republic of Tea

By Jessica Johnson, January 27, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Jessica Johnson
Thanks to our Whole Trade Guarantee program, I get to work with a ton of great vendors who are using their businesses in order to change people’s lives. Every day I hear stories that are truly inspiring, and this blog is a place where I get to share it all with you. As you may remember, The Whole Trade Guarantee is a buying program that brings together a strict set of criteria for products from developing countries. This program guarantees exceptional product quality, more money for producers, better wages and working conditions for workers, sound environmental production practices and the support of poverty eradication through a donation of one percent of product sales to our Whole Planet Foundation. The Republic of Tea was so excited about this program that they decided to create an original product line exclusively for Whole Trade Guarantee. Their new Whole Trade Tea Collection includes FairTrade Certified™ blends made from premium organic full leaf black, green and red teas. The Collection includes: Big Bold (Wake Up the World Black Tea), Bing Cherry Vanilla (Share the Bounty Black Tea), Blueberry Lemon (Fruitful Partnership Green Tea), Blood Orange(Harvest of Hope Green Tea) and Apricot Honey (Branch Out to the World Red Tea – Rooibos). Each tea is packaged in a recyclable, airtight tin containing 3.5 ounces of full leaf tea (brews 50-60 cups). So what about the inspiring story? Here’s one. The green and black teas in their Whole Trade Guarantee teas come from Korakundah Garden in Southern India. This FairTrade Certified™ organic garden uses sustainable production methods and works to conserve local ecosystems. Tigers, panthers, elephants and sambars are spotted regularly in the dense jungle surrounding this pristine garden. And the tea sales fund healthcare, education, retirement, and safety for the workers. Here are a few highlights provided by Transfair USA:
  • Fair Trade funded school improvements, including construction of a well-equipped new science laboratory, and purchase of a school bus and a set of 12 computers. Fair Trade income has also been used to construct a hostel that houses students who live far away from the tea garden’s school.
  • Cooking gas is provided to all tea workers, reducing their reliance on time-consuming and resource intensive firewood collection.
  • The workers created a pension and housing fund for retired tea workers. In a country that lacks adequate care and services for the elderly, this fund provides vital financial support, and helps retired members maintain their homes.
  • All workers and children are now vaccinated against Hepatitis B and Typhoid at the garden’s health center. The workers are provided with accident insurance and medi-claim policies for all the workers.
  • Fair Trade revenue funded infrastructure improvements to the workers’ community hall, including purchase of 700 chairs and protective window grills, and electricity installation.
I told you it was inspiring! A choice as simple as which tea to drink can have a huge impact on other people’s lives. Want to learn more about these Whole Trade Teas? Check out this video created by The Republic of Tea.
Category: Whole Trade




Kristina Richens says ...
The tins are made of steel. There are three “green” reasons for this. First, they keep the tea fresh and are great to reuse. They are air-tight, light resistant and they do not absorb any flavor. Citizens’ often use them to store more tea (some stores sell our tea in bulk) as well as other items you may want to store in an air-tight container. Second, steel is very easy to recycle – steel containers are considered the most recycled packages on Earth according to the EPA. Lastly, the tins are very efficient – each holding 50 to 60 cups of tea! One tin lasts quite awhile and keeps the tea fresh, sip by sip.
01/28/2009 7:01:11 PM CST
Christine Cassidy says ...
I wonder if you have any suggestions on what to do with the cans? We buy other teas that come in these sort of cans too and it seems like a lot of labor intensive packaging. Recyclable? Still seems very wasteful to me. How about selling the teas in bulk so you can refill the cans? The best would be some sort of plant based (corn?) box/bag that I could throw into the compost or worm bin. Get greening!
01/27/2009 1:52:15 PM CST
Selma Cohn says ...
We only serve Republic in our home. I use the wellness teas daily and the help this old lady make it through the day. The pink ribbon teas as a survivor are a must at my card games. I'm disappointed that I have to go to Fresh Market to get the bottles as my Whole Foods in Wellington does not carry thyem but fresh market around the corner does. Not smart of someone. I love our new whole foods but I think the menu at my old store in Boca was a better selection. I have dinner at whole foods at least once a week. Thanks, Selma
01/27/2009 4:04:25 PM CST
Cindy Cosby says ...
My son and i love Tea! He is only 8 but love his Mint Field herb tea every morning!
02/25/2009 11:14:33 AM CST
caligirl says ...
i wish whole foods carried more of a variety of loose-leaf, black teas. like kenyan, assam, ceylon, etc.
05/01/2009 10:44:23 AM CDT
Kimberly Garcia says ...
I love these teas. Why don't you carry the bottled teas? They are the ONLY bottled teas that do not contain sugar. For those of us who need that, it is frustrating not to be able to get them.
07/11/2009 12:13:36 PM CDT
Cynthia Perkins says ...
Did you make the Holiday tea this season? Last year it was Comfort and Joy. I am having trouble locating it. Thanks.
12/15/2009 6:12:42 PM CST
joseph says ...
were can i buy the tea in bottles in sparks nv 89432
12/21/2012 4:59:15 PM CST
Bridgette says ...
What other place sells the Republic of Tea products where i can walk in and buy?I live in Atlanta, Ga.
12/24/2012 10:53:25 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@BRIDGETTE - I would suggest reaching out to a store in Atlanta to see if they have these in stock. You can find a list of our locations at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.
12/27/2012 4:34:22 PM CST
Jane says ...
Please help...I your bottled teas and I am having trouble finding them in our local supermarkets. The zip codes closes to my shopping are 32751,32701,32792 Florida
03/03/2013 5:37:01 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@JANE - I can't speak to which retailers that The Republic of Tea sells their products in your area but if you are unable to find the bottles at your local WF store, you can find a few of them on their website for ordering at http://www.republicoftea.com/glass-bottled-iced-tea/c/41/.
03/04/2013 4:55:11 PM CST
tholdmeyer says ...
Where to buy locally in Des Moines iowa especially your bottled product blackberry sage and tea bags
04/15/2013 12:05:06 AM CDT
Van says ...
Do you carry/sell (red) hibiscus tea? I have read from reputable sites that use of this tea lowers blood pressure as well as or better than some prescription drugs with no side effects. Thanks
05/26/2013 5:56:18 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@VAN - Our products vary between stores. Check with your local store to see what they have in stock!
05/31/2013 12:34:58 PM CDT
Bill says ...
where can I purchase Republic of Tea in BOTTLES. zip 32128 FL.
09/02/2013 1:07:48 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@BILL - If there is a Whole Foods Market in your area you can check to see if they carry this. If not, I would suggest reaching out to Republic of Tea to see where they sell their products.
09/02/2013 3:53:37 PM CDT
Jane Marie says ...
Do you sell Stir Fry Tea Oil from this brand?
01/01/2014 1:57:52 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@JANE - Our products differ between locations. Call your local store directly to see what they have in stock!
01/01/2014 2:30:42 PM CST
dee Nesbit says ...
I live in tampa and would like to know if any of your stores carry the republic of tea in gge Ginger peach flavor
05/25/2014 8:37:13 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@DEE - Our exact products differ between stores. Check with the store you plan to shop with by giving them a call before you head over to see if they have this in stock! http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list
05/26/2014 10:38:51 AM CDT
Robin says ...
Love Republic of Tea Iced Tea Limon Black but have not been able to purchase it lately. Has it been discontinued?
07/09/2014 6:04:06 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@ROBIN - Since we do not make this product, I would suggest reaching out to them directly at http://www.republicoftea.com/.
07/10/2014 2:27:09 PM CDT
Jenny Krol says ...
I was given a gift of Raspberry Peach Tea by The Republic of Tea (50 tea bags). I am now out of it. I am assuming it must've come from whole foods since I've gotten other Republic of Tea Tea from there. So, my question is do you have it - and if so, which store in NYC and/or Brooklyn carries it? Looking for an answer ASAP thanks.
08/30/2014 10:52:46 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@JENNY - Our exact product options differ between stores. Check with the exact NYC location you plan to shop with to see what they have in stock!
09/01/2014 1:25:58 PM CDT