Firsd Tea’s new report suggests industry experts view Non-GMO certification as more important to consumers than Fair Trade.

SECAUCUS, NJ, December 07, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — According to a new report from Firsd Tea, the largest importer of Chinese tea in the U.S., most professionals in tea and related industries say Non-GMO certification is now more important than Fair Trade for their consumers—a trend change from last year’s findings.

Specifically, most respondents in 2023 viewed Non-GMO certification (81%) as the second-most important standard and Fair Trade (68%) as the third-most important standard to consumers—a reversal from 2022’s survey findings.

“Though it’s unsurprising that Non-GMO certification has grown in perceived importance for consumers with our survey-takers, it was interesting to see it leap past Fair Trade certification this year,” Firsd Tea marketing director, Jason Walker, explains. He adds, “Importantly, Organic certification is still the predominant priority standard for consumers in the eyes of industry professionals.”

Along with revealing the Non-GMO certification’s increasing importance, the study also found:

• Most survey-takers remain worried about the effects of climate change on their business operations (80% in 2022 vs. 75% in 2023).

• Tea is still considered the most sensitive industry to the effects of climate change by most professionals in tea and related industries (93% in 2022 vs. 95% in 2023).

• Most respondents in tea and related industries still agree Organic Certification is the most important standard to consumers (84% in 2022 vs. 88% in 2023).

• Compared with Firsd Tea’s 2022 study, Vietnam (+37%), Kenya (+33%), China (+26%), and Sri Lanka (+26%) saw outstanding perceived sustainability improvements in 2023.

• Most respondents in tea and related industries report improved outlooks on progress made in sustainability from 10 years ago, the current state of sustainability in tea, and the trajectory for the next 10 years.

“We look forward to this critical study providing important information to stakeholders across tea and related industries, hopefully helping their decision-making and giving them a more accurate pulse on their industry peers,” explains Firsd Tea executive director, Shengyuan Chen.

Firsd Tea Sustainability Perspectives 2023 is the second annual survey that continues a first-of-its-kind global 2022 study to gauge opinions of tea sustainability among associated experts.

“In this post-pandemic era, consumers remain focused on healthy lifestyles and recognize the importance of protecting the environment. The significance of organic certification with growing numbers of tea consumers echoes the mindset of many coffee consumers as well, specifically, that organic certification hits two touch points: it is good for the body and it is good for the planet,” says Vanessa L. Facenda, editor, Tea & Coffee Trade Journal.

The study derives its results from a three-month long survey conducted from May 2023 to July 2023 in collaboration with Tea & Coffee Trade Journal, a 120+ year-old publication covering the global tea and coffee industries from origin through the supply chain. Princeton-based Crothers Consulting administered the survey to 100 voluntary respondents conducting business in tea and related sectors (e.g. coffee, wine and cocoa).

For the full Firsd Tea Sustainability Perspectives 2023 Report, click here.

About Firsd Tea:

Firsd Tea is the U.S. subsidiary of parent company, Zhejiang Tea Group, Ltd. (ZJT), China’s largest tea exporter and the world leader in green tea exports. Founded in 1950, ZJT has been the largest tea producer and exporter in China for 25 consecutive years. The company has remained one of the leading and most technologically advanced manufacturers and innovators in the Chinese tea industry. ZJT boasts strategic collaboration with the Science Department of Zhejiang University as well as the Hangzhou Tea Research Institute of All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Co-operatives. Zhejiang Tea Group’s portfolio of products include EU compliant conventional teas and organic teas (first organic tea producer in China since 1989), decaf teas (one of only two companies in China who have a CO2 decaf facility) and chemical solvent-free tea extractions, including instant teas, tea polyphenols, and EGCG.

About the Firsd Tea Sustainability Perspectives study:

The Firsd Tea Sustainability Perspectives study is an annual, first-of-its-kind global tea report that derives its findings from a survey of voluntary respondents conducting business in tea and related industries (e.g. coffee, sugar cane, wine and cocoa). Survey responses are primarily generated by website posting and subscriber outreach by Firsd Tea and Tea & Coffee Trade Journal, direct messaging on platforms such as LinkedIn, and word-of-mouth networking. Industry-specific organizations also promote the survey by sharing it with their respective stakeholders.

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