organic labels

Ranked second, just behind water, among the most consumed beverages in the world, tea appeals to more than 60% of French people. Concerned about the quality of ingredients, many turn to organic tea. But in the maze of organic tea labels, how to select the one that ensures organic farming and respect for producers. Some explanations.

The serious labels for organic teas

In 2019, the tea market represented about 55 billion dollars. Enough to want to boost production, with more or less ethics. To find their way in this booming market, organic tea labels are popular. If some represent real values like the European organic label or the AB certificate, others on the other hand make a minimum control of the production and chemical fertilizers. Zoom on the organic tea labels.

The European organic label

The European organic label is the only mandatory one. Its legal framework is European. This certification, whose logo is little known, aims to respect natural cycles and move towards sustainable agriculture both for the quality of products and for producers.

The AB label

The AB certificate, whose logo is well known, comes from France. Its objective is to highlight 100% organic products whose production respects the environment. Certified organic products are guaranteed to be free of pesticides and chemical compounds.

Other interesting labels

In addition to these organic tea labels, other certifications are also worth your attention:

  • the Max Avelaar label, which ensures fair trade with a fair minimum income for producers;
  • the Rainforest Alliance label, which seeks to protect primary forests with a reasoned agriculture that benefits small producers;
  • the UTZ CERTIFIED label, which guarantees decent working conditions for producers and respect for the environment.

The promises of organic tea labels

For organic teas, but also for other plants like coffee or rooibos, many labels exist. But which ones really guarantee 100% organic tea? Do they seek to promote fair trade, environmental protection or the absence of pesticides and chemical fertilizers? The main organic tea labels deciphered.

The promises of the European organic label

The European organic label promotes quality excellence through agriculture that respects the cycles of nature. Existing in European countries, this label guarantees :

  • products with a minimum of 95% of ingredients from organic agriculture;
  • products coming directly from the producers with a sealed packaging (box or bag);
  • clear indications of traceability.

The promises of the AB label

The AB certification is quite close, as far as the specifications are concerned, to the European organic label. According to theFrench Agency for the Development and Promotion of Organic Agriculture, this label guarantees :

  • products with a minimum of 95% of ingredients from organic agriculture, respectful of the environment and animal welfare;
  • ingredients grown without pesticides and chemicals;
  • the presence of a maximum of 0.9% of GMOs in the processed product;
  • clear indications of traceability.

Is a label a guarantee of quality?

With their strict specifications, labels such as AB or European organic certification are a guarantee of quality. They ensure a product with no or little pesticides or chemical fertilizers. But should we then throw away teas without an organic label? Not really, because certifications are expensive and some small producers, especially in small gardens in Asian countries, cannot afford to pay them for their tea leaves.