In the Flavia range of teas, English Breakfast will be the first to carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal of approval, with the addition of Earl Grey and Royal Blend scheduled to be added this autumn.
"Sustainable business is key for Mars Drinks and that encompasses all aspects of our operations," says Daniel Vennard, corporate affairs and sustainability director. "Working with the Rainforest Alliance is a fantastic opportunity for us to continue to help tea and coffee farmers enhance the quality of their product."
Tea cultivation can cause soil erosion, pollution from fertilizers and deforestation, while many tea farmers lack decent housing and healthcare. The global tea industry also faces challenges with demand falling behind supply, which makes it difficult for farmers to earn a living.
"With more than six million acres of land around the world currently used for growing tea plants, it's crucial that those tea estates follow strict social, environmental and economic standards," said Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance. "Continuing the Rainforest Alliance's relationship with Mars Drinks by expanding certification into their tea supply means we can provide greater on-the-ground benefits to ecosystems, workers and wildlife."