ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ. — Ekaterra is implementing a multiyear plan for its Tazo brand that will see the tea portfolio transition to a regenerative organic approach. The initiative involves a closer look at how Tazo sources ingredients and packaging as well as how the company treats farmers and workers along the brand’s supply chain.
As part of the first step in the plan, ekaterra said it is introducing reformulations of four of Tazo’s original best-selling blends: Zen, Awake English Breakfast, Chai and Darjeeling. The new Regenerative branded blends have been reformulated to ensure they are USDA Organic certified, made with Fair Trade USA Certified ingredients, made with Rainforest Alliance Certified teas and made with ingredients grown with verified regenerative organic agriculture practices, the company said.
“Tazo has always been a brand that challenges the status quo, and this regenerative organic transition is no exception,” said Laraine Miller, president, ekaterra Americas. "For too long, ‘business as usual’ has been killing our planet. It’s time for every company, including the entire tea industry, to overhaul their means of production to combat climate change and help people and planet thrive.”
Ekaterra said the Fair Trade USA certification is a particular focus of the Tazo Regenerative brand. The certification gives consumers the peace of mind that Tazo is doing its part to protect the environment and helps ensure that farmers and workers are treated equitably and receive fair wages, ekaterra said.
“When you see our Fair Trade USA Certified label on a Tazo tea box, you can trust that it was made according to rigorous standards that protect the livelihoods of people growing the tea and the environment,” said Paul Rice, founder and chief executive officer of Fair Trade USA. “Fair trade helps ensure responsible practices and safe, healthy working conditions on the farms where Tazo products are grown, like gender equity for workers and community development funds to address local needs as decided on by the farmers and workers themselves.”
Specific goals that ekaterra has identified for the Tazo brand include ensuring its priority materials (e.g., tree fiber, sugar, tea) are sourced from suppliers that have eliminated deforestation from their supply chains by 2023, while by 2025 Tazo has set a goal of 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging.
By 2026, the brand has set several goals, including 100% of packaging to be made from recycled content or sustainably sourced renewable material, 30% reduction in Tazo’s use of packaging materials, and achieve carbon neutral operations and be on the path to science-based net-zero emissions.
Longer term, ekaterra said it seeks to ensure its tea and key ingredients, together comprising at least 80% of Tazo’s ingredient volume, meet the brand’s regenerative agriculture standards by 2029. By 2030, the company has set a target of 45% absolute reduction of scopes 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions as compared to the 2020 base year.
Ekaterra also said it has pledged to give at least 1% of sales from Tazo to mission-aligned organizations each year.Private equity company CVC Capital Partnersacquired ekaterrain July for approximately $4.7 billion from Unilever PLC. In addition to Tazo, the ekaterra business includes such brands as Lipton, Pukka and T2.