July 13, 2021
By Silvia Azrai Kawas, Vice President, Private Brands Food
Tea is the second-most consumed beverage in the world. It trails only water in popularity, which is important to note, because its ubiquity has far-reaching consequences for farmers, communities and people around the world.
At Walmart, we’ve long recognized the cultural and economic value of tea, and what it means to source it at scale. Today, as a continuation of our sustainability journey, I’m proud to announce that all Great Value Brand traditional black and green teas will be certified sustainable through the Rainforest Alliance.
This is good news not just for Walmart customers, but also for farmers, and the future of tea.
Sourcing, Surety of Supply and the Cycle of Tea
I grew up in Jordan, where a cup of black tea with fresh mint leaves was a breakfast staple. Still today, it reminds me of home. And it also reminds me of the small farmers, working all around the world, who make sure people can enjoy tea with their breakfast — or for lunch, dinner, or in the middle of a stressful workday.
Great Value tea, now 100% Rainforest Alliance certified, helps ensure that three pillars of sustainability are met: social, environmental and economic. The Rainforest Alliance evaluates farms based on these pillars and provides training to farmers so they can continue growing their skillset.
The social pillar advances the rights of people in the supply chain, especially in rural areas. The environmental pillar assesses and trains farmers around responsible land management methods. The economic pillar helps to bring farmers out of poverty by providing sustainable options for building better livelihoods.
These pillars matter because of the relationship between sustainable sourcing and surety of supply. By supporting tea farmers, we can encourage them toward practices that will sustain their farms and allow them to teach future generations — creating a positive cycle that’s not just better for the planet, but for people, too.
High Quality, Everyday Low Prices
Walmart customers might experience a change in buying Great Value Brand teas in that they can feel even better about their purchase. But what won’t change is our commitment to everyday low prices.
Our Great Value Brand black and green teas will remain affordable, high-quality drinks, with an added bonus: Each box you buy makes a measurable impact on the life of a smallholder farmer.
This announcement is only part of our greater strategy to build better livelihoods for farmers while operating a greener business. We’re working toward sourcing 20 diverse key commodities, from tea to tuna and coffee, more sustainably by 2025. Doing so is a collaborative effort, which requires our teams to work together across private brands, merchandising, sustainability and many more — all in pursuit of a common goal.
At Walmart, we know doing good is important to our customers, and it’s equally important to us. We’re working to deliver on our overall commitment to the planet and its people, for generations to come.