My name is Lakshman Chandrakanthan, I’m a farmer from a small village in Balangoda, Sri Lanka. My journey with English Tea Shop begun in 2016 when I first became part of their supply chain – and I haven’t looked back since!
I’ve been a farmer my entire life, and I’ve seen first-hand how damaging intensive farming could be for the environment. It’s quite well known that organic farming is better for the environment, but what lots of people don’t realise is that organic farming is also better for the farmers, their families and their communities as well. This is because organic crops take a greater level of skill and expertise to farm, leading to a higher quality crop. This means farmers can command more favourable prices as well.
I was fortunate enough to come across English Tea Shop, who pay well above the Fairtrade minimum price for my higher-quality, organic tea. Working with English Tea Shop has helped us to grow, develop and innovate our farming practices through their continuous focus on building a strong relationship with us and educating us on various organic farming techniques. On top of their continuous coaching and paying the premium price for our harvest, the company has supplied us with a moisture meter that has helped us improve the quality of our crops during dry season.
Working with English Tea Shop has had a huge impact on our farming community. English Tea Shop’s team visits our village regularly and carefully analyses our needs. With support from English Tea Shop, we hope to expand our organic tea farm from seven acres to 10 acres in 2018. We’ve also set our sights on having a multi-crop farm for ginger, vanilla and vegetables.