3 Reasons Why Tea and Herb Prices Surge Across China

March 09, 2016

3 Reasons Why Tea and Herb Prices Surge Across China

One of our personal favorite daily herbal teas to drink is Wild Gynostemma, but this year the price of the herb surged alongside a lot of other teas – and somewhat dramatically. At WTQ, we source a wild Gynostemma, which is not easy to get and is already in limited supply.

With a little investigation it, which I did for you, you can see why tea prices have surged across China:

1. Recent Natural Disasters Have Hurt Tea Production

Our Gynostemma comes from Guangxi in China, and Guangxi had a number of natural disasters this year that devastated crops and also our beloved Wild Gynostemma.

Floods and Typhoons ravaged Guangxi in 2012 greatly affecting this year’s yield. Floods and Typhoons continue to ravage the area as the recent Typhoon Utor brought more flooding to the area. The area that our Wild Gynostemma grows in the mountains experienced mudslides and landslides which destroyed many of these beautiful plants.

This did not just affect Guangxi, but also Yunnan, which also experienced serious flooding, mudslides, landslides and even earthquakes this year.

When you buy wild and BiodiversiTEA you cannot guarantee the yield as you can on a typically mass produced plantation.  Mass produced plantations are usually well protected because they are a large investors major investment. They also destroy all the surrounding plants and trees so nothing interferes. You pay the price in quality and flavor though when you buy tea from a monoculture mass produced plantation.

Weather is not likely to get better it is predicted to get worse next year as heat waves across China are wilting tea crops

Droughts are threatening this year’s crops big time.

2. RMB value rise in comparison to USD, Causing Tea Prices to Surge

Last year 6.4RMB was equal in value to $1 USD. This year it dropped again to 6.1RMB to $1 USD. The value is still changing and some say it may drop to 5RMB for $1 USD soon, which will cause tea prices to rise even further.

3. Wages for Workers in China Continue to Climb, Causing Tea Prices to Surge

Every year, China’s laborfoce wages are increasing. Obviously, at WTQ – a company with a huge social and ecological mindset – we support wage equality and workers’ rights. That said, it must be noted as a significant factor for why tea prices are continuing to rise.

In particular, this hits small, artisanal tea companies like WTQ the hardest because our tea is in high demand in China. Most of the teas and herbs sold in the US are from large factories and are not in such high in demand within China so these companies can keep their prices down.

With all of these factors, it is easy to see clearly why tea and herb prices across China are jumping so much for high quality products. If you stop supporting the companies that are truly purchasing fairly traded products due to price jumps then you will ultimately go to the larger companies who might have meaningless “fair trade” certifications but are nevertheless able to keep their prices down due to not following wage increases as well as selling products that are mass produced and full of pesticides.

Others that appreciate the people who produce and harvest high quality, artisan, ancient tree and wild teas and herbs will understand and educate their own customers as to why the prices are changing and by the looks of it will continue to change.

It is our hope to continue to offer these wonderful herbs and teas to the world.

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