SHOW / EPISODE

SPOTLIGHT | Revitalizing Kumaon

9m | Jul 5, 2024

SPOTLIGHT | Revitalizing Kumaon

In the Himalayas of northern India, Kumaon Tea has opened its first farmer-owned and managed factory in a trailblazing partnership with US-based Young Mountain Tea. The region was one of the earliest to be planted by the British in the 1860s. A century ago, these high-mountain estates were abandoned, and the formerly productive tea fields lay fallow until an enterprising young entrepreneur marshaled the resources of US-based Frontier Co-op and USAID’s Cooperative Development Program to benefit hundreds of tea smallholders.

Joining us today is Raj Vable, founder of Young Mountain Tea in Marquette, Mich., who inspired the villagers of Kumaon to create a new era of economic resiliency and autonomy. The solar-powered factory with state-of-the-art equipment will process regeneratively grown certified organic tea in four styles available in retail locations by November. Vable writes, “We hope our model serves as a blueprint that can be replicated and improved upon so we can all collectively raise the bar on transparent sourcing, regenerative agriculture, and smallholder farmer equity.”



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