Focus: Land Resources
Location: Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
Ambootia is a family-owned tea producer nestled in India’s Darjeeling Himalaya. Among the first tea gardens established by the British in the mid-19th century, they have a long tradition in working with nature, and not against it.
In 1968, Ambootia experienced extreme rainfall, which triggered a major landslide, destroying 300 homes in villages surrounded by gardens and orange orchards. Since then, Ambootia workers have initiated a reforestation program that includes the planting of 50,000 shade trees per year to reduce soil erosion and prevent future landslides.
Ambootia has also been leading by example in the area of environmental sustainability. In 1992, the company transitioned to 100% organic and bio-dynamic farming which has prevented soil erosion and improved soil fertility, resulting in a healthy produce. Natural fertilizer has rid the soil of chemical residues, and provided the workers with safe drinking water and clean air. To lower carbon emissions, the tea garden is powered by clean energy, such as hydroelectricity. In addition, garbage collection systems keep the workers’ housing clean and healthy.
Since 1994, Ambootia has been awarded certification from bodies such as Fair Trade and Demeter, and the tea’s high standard continues to attract a high premium which is re-invested in workers, the tea garden, and the environment.
Environmental Impact: Avoided soil erosion, reforestation, reduced CO2 emissions & avoided use of agrochemicals and pesticides
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