August 2, 2012
Last week, we introduced you to Project Rwanda and how it is making a difference in a country that’s suffered serious hardship in recent times. This week, we’d like to focus on how this co-funded initiative is improving quality – not just the quality of the tea itself but also the quality of life of thousands of farmers and their families.
Yorkshire Gold is a rich, full-bodied and refreshing golden brew that unites teas from the world’s very finest tea gardens and brings their wonderfully unique flavours together in your cup. Whilst the smooth malty flavours come from Assam second flush teas, Rwandan teas are responsible for the fresh and lively dimension to the taste. So the quality of Rwandan tea is very important to us.
Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills and it’s the combination of volcanic soils and high altitudes that makes the tea bushes that grow on these dramatic escarpments, which are often shrouded in cloud, so lush and verdant. In fact, so impressed are we with the quality of the tea produced here, we even offer a special ‘Yorkshire Gold Season’s Pick’ Rwandan tea, which is available for a limited period from late January each year.
To encourage and help growers in Rwanda to keep improving and producing the quality of the tea that’s an essential part of Yorkshire Gold, we need to all do everything better. We play our part by paying better, fairer prices for their tea crops. Rather than simply handing over funds, our experience tells us that it is better to improve through trade, not aid.
By matching a grant from the Department for International Development (DfID), we have co-funded a project to support 10,000 small-scale Rwandan tea farmers. The project helps them increase the processing standards and consequently the quality of tea has been raised too. Also, by partnering with the Rainforest Alliance we are working to help raise the standard of social, working and environmental practices so that Rwandan farmers can enjoy a better standard of living and quality of life.