From The Republic of Tea Charter, adopted March 16, 1994: We are mindful of the impact that our actions and business activities have on our communities and environment and are conscientious to act in a long-term and responsible manner.
The Republic of Tea is a progressive, environmentally and socially conscious business that works to elevate consumers’ consciousness of wasteful packaging and the opportunities for reuse and recycling. We embody the ancient Chinese philosophy of Ta shun — the Great Harmony – which manifests itself when people naturally care about the world and depend on each other for the well being of the whole. It is a collective concern for others and aspiration to seek opportunities, initiatives and actions that will better the human condition as well as the planet.
Premium Teas and Herbs
The Republic of Tea procures only the highest-quality tea grown at the premier tea gardens of the world, where the company has long-term supply partnerships. The teas are naturally processed using no foreign materials or additives. All teas are tested for pesticide residues as well as all other known matter. All teas also undergo stringent quality assurance processes at the garden level prior to shipment and again upon arrival at our domestic packaging facility, throughout the production process.
The Republic of Tea’s cylindrical steel tea tins are airtight, recyclable and reusable (steel containers are the most recycled packages on Earth). As noted in all label copy, Citizens (consumers) are encouraged to use existing tins to store refills–or anything they like. Steel is a versatile commodity that plays a major part in everyday life—it is used in applications ranging from food cans and household containers to automobiles and office buildings. Steel makes up the largest category of metals in the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream. For many years, steel has been a commonly recycled material in North America and throughout the world. Efficiently managing and recycling used steel products is important to maximize the utility of this commodity. Recovering steel not only saves money, but also dramatically reduces the energy consumption required to make steel from virgin materials. In turn, this reduces the amount of greenhouse gases released during processing and manufacturing steel from virgin ore. (Source: Environmental Protection Agency)
The Republic of Tea offers Citizens a variety of packaging options, from full-leaf bulk bags and tea bag tins, to ready-to-drink glass bottled iced teas and miniature Traveler’s Tea Tins. It is up to the individual person or business to make the decision as to what type of packaging to purchase. The standards often set by fine dining restaurants across the United States and the expectations of their guests, often require a ready-to-drink iced tea in a glass bottle, as in the case of The Republic of Tea’s Glass Bottled Iced Teas. These signature glass bottles contain 20-25% recycled glass. A glass bottle is the very best way to preserve the integrity, quality and freshness of premium iced tea. Further, glass is one of the world’s most recycled materials. Soft drink, beer, food, wine and liquor containers represent the largest source of glass generated and recovered for recycling. (Source: Environmental Protection Agency)
Bisphenol A (BPA)
The Republic of Tea’s Citizen’s Traveler Press is certified BPA-free by Bodum (manufacturer). Studies show potential health effects of Bisphenol A, commonly abbreviated as BPA — linking high levels of BPA exposure to increased risk of heart disease and diabetes and even a decreased sensitivity to chemotherapy in cancer patients. The compound is also linked to developmental and brain effects in infants; BPA is known to mimic the hormone estrogen in the body, which can cause changes in developing fetuses and infants. (Source: Time, November 2008)
Unbleached Tea Bag Paper – Free of Unnecessary Strings, Tags and Staples
The Republic of Tea’s signature-round tea bags have always been made from unbleached tea paper, free of unnecessary strings, tags and staples. This unbleached tea paper is free of chemicals; no chlorine-containing compounds are used. Further, The Republic of Tea’s tea bag paper is Non-GMO Project verified, gluten free and kosher (Passover) certified.
The company’s packing and shipping practices center on minimalism, simplicity and the elimination of excess. For all shipments, void fill is the principal packing material, supplemented by excess tea paper and when necessary by GEAMI, a 100 percent recyclable packaging product. With GEAMI both the outer paper and inner tissue can be placed in the newspaper bin for recycling. This natural packing material not only protects fine tea and tea ware, it allows The Republic of Tea to use smaller shipping boxes, which results in saving fossil fuels (both from tires and diesel gas) and pollution in transportation.
The Republic of Tea’s shipping center is located in Southern Illinois, in the middle of the United States. Being equal distance to each coast allows expedient, efficient and economical distribution of product throughout the county, while minimizing our carbon footprint. Further, there are strategic locations in the Southeast and West that produce the brand’s Glass Bottled Iced Teas and distribute the product to restaurants in proximity to those facilities (i.e., production facility in California supplies Glass Bottled Iced Teas to Western States and Hawaii). Everyone contributes to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. There are many things individuals and businesses can do to reduce carbon emissions. The choices made at homes, while traveling, when dining, shopping and disposing waste influence the carbon footprint and can help ensure a stable climate for future generations (Source: The Nature Conservancy).
Each of The Republic of Tea’s decaffeinated teas are naturally decaffeinated using an environmentally friendly CO2 / high-pressure process (no commercial chemical extraction). Leaves are lightly soaked and then flushed with CO2; when it dissipates, it removes caffeine while retaining the tea’s healthful properties and rich flavor.
The Ethical Tea Partnership
The Republic of Tea is a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, the non-commercial alliance of major tea packing companies working together to promote social responsibility in the world tea trade and to ensure the ethical sourcing of tea. Find out more at: www.ethicalteapartnership.org.
The Republic of Tea tableware (called Sipware) is thoroughly examined and accredited by a globally recognized product safety testing organization before the goods are permitted to leave the factory in the country of origin. Tableware (Sipware) is in compliance with all safety, regulatory and government standards including tests for safe harbor levels of lead and cadmium. Further, all of The Republic of Tea tableware (Sipware) meets The U.S. Food and Drug Administration national requirements before it is sold in the United States; in accordance with California Proposition 65.
The Republic of Tea is the first tea company in the United States to be certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), ensuring all of our full-leaf and bagged teas are free of gluten and possible cross-contamination from gluten. The GFCO, a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group® (GIG), is the first program of its kind in the world to supervise the manufacturing and testing protocol of companies that market gluten-free (GF) foods, for the purpose of offering consumers a third-party assurance of safety. This independent food processing inspection program will verify food products meet the highest standards for GF ingredients and are produced in a safe environment.
Kosher Certification by the Orthodox Union
Many of The Republic of Tea teas are Kosher Certified by the Orthodox Union (OU). The OU is the world’s largest and most widely recognized kosher certification agency, certifying more than 400,000 products produced in over 6,000 plants located in 80 countries around the world. Many of the food industry’s most recognized brands, large and small, choose the OU for their kosher certification. Active for over two centuries, the OU Kosher is unique among all the major kosher certification agencies as it is part of a non-profit communal organization (founded in 1898), so they maintain the highest levels of integrity without any possible conflict of interest. The organization ensures the highest standard of Kosher Certification. The OU mark is featured on all of The Republic of Tea’s kosher teas. The Stir Fry Tea Oil and every glass bottled, ready-to-drink iced teas are certified kosher by the OU.
Fair Trade Certification
All of The Republic of Tea’s products are fairly traded. The company also offers delicious and healthful Fair Trade Certified teas. The Republic of Tea Fair Trade Certified teas are certified by Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in North America. Communities in tea growing regions utilize proceeds from the sale of Fair Trade Certified products to enhance and invest in opportunities for local education, housing, healthcare and to improve the specific needs of the locality.
Non-GMO Project Verification
The Republic of Tea currently has received Non-GMO Project verification for over 75 of its premium teas and herbs. The Non-GMO Project offers North America’s only independent verification for products made according to rigorous best practices for GMO (genetically modified organisms) avoidance. Its verified products are produced in compliance with the Non-GMO Project Standard—that means it must follow rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance, including segregation and traceability to prevent contamination. The Republic of Tea is in the process of obtaining Non-GMO Project verification for an array of additional premium teas and herbs.
Demeter Biodynamic Certification
The goal of Biodynamic agriculture is to create a self-sustaining farm that is minimally dependent on imported materials. By focusing on ecological and holistic practices, farms are able to improve the soil health, water quality and biodiversity year after year. To receive Demeter Biodynamic Certification, farms must meet the following requirements as per the Demeter Farm and Processing Standards: agronomic guidelines, greenhouse management, structural components, livestock guidelines, and post harvest handling and processing procedures. The Republic of Tea currently has a new line of premium, organic teas sourced from a variety of Demeter Certified Biodynamic farms around the world that are committed to certain sustainable practices that improve the health of the farm’s entire ecosystem.
Rainforest Alliance Certification
Many of The Republic of Tea’s premium teas and herbs come from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. The Rainforest Alliance works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them to transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large multinational corporations to small community based cooperatives, businesses and consumers worldwide are involved in the Rainforest Alliance’s efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily. Rainforest Alliance Certified farm and forest operations meet comprehensive social, environmental and economic standards that conserve the environment and promote healthy ecosystems while benefitting the lives of farm and forest workers, their families and their communities.
USDA Organic Certification
The Republic of Tea procures organics teas and herbs whenever possible. In addition, the brand features several teas certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). All leaves, herbs and botanicals that are certified organic are meticulously inspected. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has uniform guidelines and strict standards farmers, manufacturers and importers must adhere to in order to be certified organic. The offering of organic teas and herbs is certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI), an independent service organization developed specifically for the purpose of certifying the authenticity of organically grown produce. Cultivated with a zealous adherence to organic regulations, these teas are grown without the use of synthetic chemicals or pesticides, using only sustainable agricultural methods.
The Republic of Tea sources only the highest-quality tea grown in the premier tea gardens in the world. From the Wuyi Mountains of China to the island of Sri Lanka, we treasure our long-term relationships with each supplier. All of our teas are naturally produced. All of our teas are inspected and undergo the most stringent of quality assurance processes at the garden level before they are shipped. Once they arrive at our packaging facility, they are inspected again. We take this process very seriously to ensure that we’re providing our Citizens with the highest quality and safest teas from each unique origin.
All-natural flavorings used in The Republic of Tea teas and tea-inspired products meet the requirements as outlined in Federal Drug Administration 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)Part 101.22(a)(3). The flavorings used by The Republic of Tea are all natural and manufactured by steam distillation extraction only; no chemical additives or preservatives are used. The flavorings are produced and handled without the use of genetic engineering or irradiation.
With the exception of natural almond flavoring used in a small number of teas, none of the natural flavorings used contain allergens. As with all packaged foods, Citizens should always review labels carefully to check for possible allergens. Further, The Republic of Tea is a latex-free facility, where only vinyl food-grade gloves are used when handling product.
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Claire Storrs, Minister of Enlightenment, firstname.lastname@example.org
5 Hamilton Landing, Suite 100, Novato, CA 94949 ~ Tel 415.382.3400 ~ Fax 415.382.3401 ~ www.REPUBLICofTEA.com