Farm to cup: How we source our teas at Pluck
Image: Rutsiro Tea Estate in the Rwanda Mountains
The first Pluck teas were blended with dried fruits and flowers purchased from farmers at a local market in Toronto. From day one, our company committed to sustainable and ethical sourcing as our Tea for Good promise to our customers. As we have grown, this commitment has never wavered. We are very proud of our supply chain, and the incredible people behind the teas we make.
- While the tea plant itself does not grow in Canada, several ingredients that we use in our tea blends are sourced right here in our own back yard. Examples include grape skins from Organic and Biodynamic Southbrook Vineyards, lavender from the sun drenched fields of the Prince Edward County Lavender farm, cacao shells left over from our bean to bar friends at Chocosol, and berries sourced and dried in Nova Scotia.
- We work directly with a growing network of Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, and Organic certified tea farms to source the freshest, highest quality teas possible. In fact, our founder Jennifer often visits the gardens herself. In many cases, we purchase these teas and arrange shipping directly from the source. In some cases, we employ the services of a specialized tea broker to consolidate ingredients – therefore reducing the carbon footprint of getting these delicious ingredients to our door, and cutting down on the time they take to arrive.
- We directly source many teas from international sustainability award – winning gardens around the globe such as Emrok estates in Kenya, and Wakohen in Japan.
- Our entire tea supply chain has been verified, vetted and approved by the Ethical Tea Partnership – the industry gold standard for ensuring fair trade, sustainability, and quality of life for tea workers. Find out more about their mission here: https://www.ethicalteapartnership.org/about-us/mission/
Product Safety and Certifications
- Prior to shipment, our Organic teas are independently verified and certified by Pro – Cert in Canada. This independent certification body also comes to our facility annually to ensure that everything from our dish soap to our storage areas are Organic compliant, and to conduct a detailed audit of our organic product sales and imports to ensure they match perfectly.
- We do spot checks on our teas annually to test for pesticide and herbicide residues with an independent lab in Toronto. All of our teas must comply with the strictest global standards for MRLs (Maximum Residue Levels) which are EU standards.
- Pluck proudly holds GMP certification – an internationally recognized quality standard for product safety. Our HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Procedures) program is audited annually by an independent third party.