Tea farm hillside

Starbucks tea ethical sourcing is on a journey to improve the overall sustainability and transparency of our tea supply chain, the livelihoods of tea workers, smallholder farmers and their communities, and the environment in which tea is produced.

The journey to produce ethically sourced tea begins with tea farmers. Like most tea companies, we do not produce our own tea or own the factories that process teas into specialty black, oolong, white and green teas. We purchase or source tea from the farmers worldwide who have generations of technical expertise and equipment to produce top quality teas.

At tea origin, we make purchasing decisions based on a vetting approach that includes economic accountability and transparency, social responsibility, environmental leadership and quality. We have partnered with the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) to ensure our tea products are produced with sustainable practices and under safe, transparent and humane working conditions.


We are evolving and improving our ethical sourcing standard by working closely with local and international organizations including NGOs, government organizations and certifiers to ensure our approach is comprehensive to positively impact the natural environments of tea production and the next generation of tea farmers.

We have supported Mercy Corps’ Community Health and Advancement Initiative (CHAI) Project to provide youth vocational training, health services and water access improvements to more than 100,000 people from 39 rural communities in the Darjeeling and Assam regions in India and in Guatemalan cardamom-growing villages.