Fair trade, plant-based tea

One of the first Trade Aid tea shipments arrives in New Zealand.

Trade Aid has shared fine quality, fair trade tea with New Zealand tea drinkers since 1976.  

Read about our journey towards creating the tea range that we enjoy today.  Organically grown, perfectly balanced and refreshing, with minimal impact on the environment.


Finally, teabags free of oil-based plastic

Trade Aid teabags are now plant-based and free of petroleum-based plastics like polypropylene, which is the plastic that is left behind when normal teabags break down. Trade Aid teabags will completely break down in industrial and home composting systems, leaving nothing unwanted behind.

We use a material that has only recently become available. The filter paper is sealed by heat, combining high performance with special focus on reducing the environmental impact after use.


Most teabags in New Zealand are made using a filter paper which incorporates a fine mesh of plastic (polypropylene) to strengthen and seal the bag. We’d all prefer not to have plastic in our cup of tea, so at Trade Aid, we’ve been working closely with our partner in India, Tea Promoters India (TPI), to find a new filter material that does not contain polypropylene. In 2019 a new material finally became available which uses starch based PLA in place of the polypropylene. After extensive testing, and a few shipping delays due to Covid, we have proudly made the shift to using teabags that are free of petroleum-based plastics. Our teabags will break down in industrial and home composting systems leaving nothing unwanted behind.

Our teabags are certified compostable by TÜV Austria with the OK Compost Industrial label.


Processing tea in the Kerala factory

Supporting small-scale farmers

In 2014 we partnered with Tea Promoters India (TPI), because we loved their sustainable tea-growing model. TPI have been a pioneer in bringing environmental and social reform to the Indian tea industry, notably in their support of small-scale tea farmer initiatives, which provide an alternative to the usual plantation model of tea production.

Small-scale tea farmers have very limited land area, typically as little as two or less hectares. They carry out much or all of the work on their farms themselves, and usually own the land. Their income from farming provides a large share of their total income, and they use limited technology in their production.

TPI support small-scale tea farmers by helping them gain access to international markets, paying them a fair price for their tea, and investing in various small farmer tea projects with the ambition of helping them to become self-sufficient.


Organically grown, perfectly balanced tea

Trade Aid tea is organically grown by small-scale tea farmers in India, whose production methods improve the ecological balance of their farms and provide us with a healthy, pesticide-free tea. Tea Promoters India (TPI) is fully committed to organic and bio-dynamic tea cultivation.

You may have already noticed that our tea packaging has been completely refreshed and is now in beautiful new boxes. We’ve eliminated the plastic outer wrap from every box and added a new variety: Organic Loose Leaf Green, which is a lightly fragrant tea with a smooth and refreshing flavour. This sits alongside our familiar favourites, English Breakfast, Earl Grey and Masala Chai. If you prefer not to use teabags, you will enjoy our new Organic Loose Leaf Green Tea and Organic Loose Leaf Black Tea.

 Shop online for our beautiful new range of organic tea, and in all Trade Aid stores, selected supermarkets and organic retailers.