Clean Water, Opportunity, and Jobs: Republic of Tea
Editor’s Note: Today, March 22nd, is World Water Day, and we’re proud to bring you a guest blog from our friends at The Republic of Tea. They’re a long-standing partner in our efforts to strengthen communities with improved nutrition and clean water.
Water and jobs is the theme for this year’s World Water Day. Water creates many jobs all over the world in developing and developed countries alike, from measuring the quality of water that comes out of the faucet in the United States, to hand-digging wells in local communities in Nicaragua.
When it comes to The Republic of Tea’s partnership with Action Against Hunger, we take pride in knowing that the organization’s water, sanitation, and hygiene programs create a vast amount of jobs in the countries where they work, therefore stimulating local economies. These jobs range from the hard, physical work of digging wells and installing pumps to creating community-based committees to manage their local water and sanitation infrastructure.
Water is obviously essential to sipping tea, and the jobs theme of this year’s World Water Day has many parallels to the way we operate at The Republic of Tea. We source tea and ingredients from numerous countries around the world, creating a demand for fairly traded premium teas and herbs. This demand generates jobs in tea gardens, production facilities, the transportation sector, and many more industries. And in the U.S., between our production facility in the Midwest and our sales and marketing headquarters in California, we have about 100 employees.
Our Sip for Clean Water Initiative supports Action Against Hunger’s water, sanitation, and hygiene programs through sales of our Superflower® Hibiscus Teas, which are sourced from Nigeria. Action Against Hunger provided 53,862 Nigerians with access to safe drinking water and sanitation in 2014—reach numbers from last year are being tabulated and are expected to be even higher. They have also helped bolster the Nigerian economy through water-related jobs. (You can read more about their work in Nigeria here). Additionally, The Republic of Tea helps to support the livelihoods of small private hibiscus farmers in Nigeria who have growing fields of about 1.2 acres on average and harvest in the dry season.
It’s positive to see that Action Against Hunger is working with communities around the world to create and sustain jobs in local economies while simultaneously solving serious water-related issues. We are proud to call them our partner on this World Water Day!
Sip by Sip Rather Than Gulp by Gulp,
Kate Dos Santos, Minister of Philanthropy and Ceremonies, The Republic of Tea