2020 Spring Health + Safety Update

working through unique challenges this spring

April 3, 2020

We’re continuing to work with with our partners across China to support them as they navigate the unique challenges of this spring.

Learn more about how we are honoring the trust of both our partner tea farmers and tea lovers like you around the world in our latest update >>

 

Verdant Tea was founded to serve and advocate for the talented and passionate small family farmers that have come to be our second family. The relationships we’ve built over more than a decade are more important and critical now than ever before.

Needless to say, this has been a difficult spring for the He Family in Laoshan, the Dongsa Cooperative in Qianjiazhai, Li Xiaoping in Dragonwell, and for every one of our friends and partners. So many wonderful tea lovers and supporters have been in touch in the last weeks with messages of support, and we are passing those on to everyone over in China.

The small family farming model
of which we are privileged to be a part
is strong and resilient.

While the supply chain for teas bought through large brokers and third parties dries up with forced isolation in China, our partners carry on. Their strength is owning their land, growing their own tea, and finishing their own tea. Our partners do not rely on bringing in help from outside. Their tea farms are their homes, and our partners are even now carrying on to keep bringing all of us fresh and flavorful teas.

 

The resounding message from our friends
is a heartfelt thank you.

Thank you –
to all the customers and supporters
who make it possible for them carry on.

 

 

Niuniu with her family’s first harvest of 2020

 

All of our partners in China are healthy and hopeful with spring harvests already underway. They are maintaining the same quality and safety practices they always do – only making tea they are happy to give to their own children, like He Qingqing’s daughter Niuniu, who is home from school and helping her parents and grandparents between online classes, craft projects, and home schooling with her parents.

Family contact with the outside is limited to contactless courier pickups, and as always, all of our partners’ teas are packed into their final retail bags and sealed right at the farm so there is no repackaging exposure.

 

We are lucky to have a full team in Laoshan Village, including Verdant Co-Owners He Qingqing and Weiwei Ren who are receiving all of our partners’ teas and rush shipping them to our US headquarters as quickly as possible.

Many of you have asked about potential delays, but we are doing everything we can to double down and buy more tea from our partners than ever before, including pre-harvest orders to help everyone make it through spring despite dramatically reduced sales in China.

Our relationships with our partners and over a decade of logistical experience means we are receiving their teas safely and quickly, and we are lining up boxes for the fastest air-shipping options available. We are taking on considerable extra expense of rush shipping, but we believe that anything we can do to keep our orders up for our partners and keep our full stock available to you is good for everyone.

 

pre-packaged bags of tea from our partners
 

Please keep in mind that our tea is packed and sealed by our partners in full family isolation and rush shipped directly to us without passing through other third parties or resellers.

Our team in China and our deep partnerships mean that we expect to continue bringing tea in as fast as we can all drink it. We’re in this for the long term, and we are ready to do whatever it takes to bolster our investment in building a stronger and more resilient small family farming community. We believe this is the future for tea, no matter what.

new 2020 black tea from the Li Family in Qianjiazhai

Our Minnesota team – Chris, Lauren, Lily, Kelsey and myself – are all taking great precautions as we always do to maintain an environment whose safety and cleanliness is worthy of the care our partners put into their teas. We are currently working with one person packing orders at a time while the rest of the team works remotely as much as possible to stay healthy.

All teas – as always – remain stored fully sealed in the US, and we have arranged for daily contactless pickup from USPS, FedEx, and other couriers to maintain an isolated and clean space for the tea and for our team.

Because our space is a certified FDA food facility, we maintain strict standards no matter what, and we are in constant communication on the latest advice and guidelines for best practices.

We will continue filling your orders and shipping them out as fast as we always do. We believe that making the time for fine tea, crafted with love and care, can help us see beauty even in challenging times.

 

From the bottom of our hearts – thank you.

We are so grateful to be able to be your source for direct-from-farm tea, and we are so grateful to be able to provide hope and support to our partners in China.

 

I hope that even with the challenges we face, the beauty of a fine cup of tea and the excitement of the fresh spring harvests picking even today can bring us all just a bit of happiness.

Happy sipping as always,
David

 

11 Responses to “2020 Spring Health + Safety Update”

  1. Thank you for this update, David. As a long-term fan of Verdant Teas I am happy to hear that all is well on your end. I was wondering if I was going to lose my tea connection and am relieved to hear from you and your team.
    Thanks much for all your marvelous tea and hard work.
    Happy sipping!
    Lisa

    • David Duckler

      Thank you Lisa! I appreciate it. We’re going to make sure our partners in China can keep sending us tea no matter what. @Lisa- I know you’ve been supporting us so long that Qingqing and Weiwei remember packing orders for you with Lily and I from Laoshan when we were shipping from China! Thank you!! Best wishes, David

  2. Amber Rose Bjerke

    This is a nice and thorough update about how you are navigating during this time. Important to continue to support the farmers and enjoy delicious tea! Thank you!

    • David Duckler

      Thank you Carlos! We are passing on those well-wishes daily, and it makes a big difference. Our partners are finishing their spring harvests with a sense of hope and optimism. All my best, David

    • David Duckler

      Thank you Bruce! It means a lot to hear from you! The personal connection with friends like the He Family helps make this all possible through challenging times, and gives us the drive to find a way no matter what. I hope you are well, and of course, sipping fine tea!

  3. Your Big Red Robe was one of the first teas I ordered when I began my foray into this wonderful world of tea. It is so good to hear everyone is doing well. Stay strong – we will get through these challenging times!

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