STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 5, Number 4

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16 STiR coffee and tea / Issue 4, 2016 (August/September) Q A NEWS By Janis Hashe ong Peng is responsible for one of the largest Fair Trade certified tea cooperatives in China. A graduated of the Wuyuan Tea School and an expert on organic agriculture, Peng was the first person in China to export organic certified Chinese tea to the West. Under the "New China" of 1949, Wuyuan green tea could not be sold domestically, only through an external seller and only if labeled simply "China green tea." The absence of branding meant that Wuyuan tea was unable to compete with other, better-known brands. That changed in the early 1990s. As China moved to export more and more of its products globally, it also adopted the concept of "green foods." After the inspection of the country's Agricul- tural Department Food Quality Inspection Center in 1993, and then successive three years' detection by the State Green Food Development Center, 53 hectares of tea-growing areas in Wuyuan Dazhangshan were given the "green food trademark, the first of its kind in China's tea industry," according to China Daily. Recognizing the importance of organic certification Hong's company, Jiangxi Wuyuan Dazhang- shan Organic Food Co., Ltd. (JWDOFC), organized a collective tea farm of approximately 800 hectares. In 1996, the company's teas were certified Class AA Green Food by the Chinese government. In 1997, the company's teas were certified organic by the European Union and in 2001, by the US Department of Agriculture. The company continues to work with its farmers to ensure organic standards are being met. It has also constructed the 14-hectare Dazhangshan Tea Eco-Industrial Park, which contains tea primary production and refining facilities, technology, research and development facilities, and provides eco-tourism opportunities. Hong Peng Jiangxi Wuyuan Dazhangshan Organic Food Co. Mr. Hong recently traveled for the first time to the United States to visit the Oakland, Calif. offices of Numi Organic Tea where STiR coffee and tea, speaking through an interpret- er, discussed his role in the development of organic, Fair Trade certified tea. STiR: For more than 1,200 years, the county containing the city of Wuyuan, nestled between the Chinese provinces of Jiangxi, Zhejiang, and Anhui, has reigned as the "golden triangle of green tea." In the 1990s Wuyuan's tea farmers were still growing tea in much the same way as their ancestors did: free of pesticides and chemical enhancements. In fact, their system was a naturally organic one. However, the farmers themselves had no idea of a global market for their tea. According to a 2013 article in China Daily Asia, classic teas from Wuyi along with other teas like Longjing in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, and Tieguanyin in Anxi, Fujian Province, were known to few outside their traditional growing region. Explain to our readers how your leadership at Dazhangshan has helped re-establish China as a producer of premium tea. Hong: Before 1997, all our teas were sold as blends. After 1997, we were able to begin exporting to Europe as single, pure teas. Also, we were now able to label and sell it as our own brand. The quantity exported has increased exponentially, from 200 kgs in that first year, to more than 1,000 metric tons currently. Of this total, 80% is exported to Europe, and 10% to the US These exports are no longer just the original 'green tea,' but H The surrounding mountains, misty, humid climate and rich soil combine to create an ideal environment for growing high-quality tea. During the Song dynasty, Wuyuan green tea was called a "masterwork of tea," and during the Ming and Qing dynasties, Wuyuan tea was presented in tribute to the emperors.

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