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Wild Ancient Shan Tea Mountain Range of Baiyue Tribes

The socio-economic situation of our community:


Long ago, what is now southern China and northern Vietnam made up a region known as Bach Viet, or Baiyue - meaning hundreds of Viet tribes. Our Baiyue tribes living in this area are still here today- many groups with the same ancestral background living on either side of the border

Our region is considered as homeland of snow shan tea, where the tea plant has its origins, where tea grows "wild", thriving and interleaving herbal plans as cinnamon, cardamom, species of the genus panax, etc in the high mountain rangers covered with snow and dew. The mountain ranges surrounded by peaceful villages of Baiyue tribes, these tribes, with a lifestyle, a language, traditions, moral standards and a specific foodstuff.

These tribes grew rice on burned land and flooded fields and raised buffaloes, goat, horse, pigs and harvest, produce precious tea, herbal medicine.

They have many different ethnic groups like Red Dzao, Nung, Tay, C'lao, La Chi, Bo Y, Lo Lo, Pa Then, H'mong, but they shared some common traits and have been living as descendants of Thần Nông (Shennong - Divine Farmer) family since ancient times, they believe that Shennong has been thought to have taught us practices of agriculture.

They have sustained the wild tea mountains for generations and hope continue to live well alongside these forests is key for long-term survival and well-being.

Despite an unique array of potential products from this region along with the precious practices in harvesting cultivation, processing of indigenous tea and medicinal plants make valuable contributions to the for the tea and herbal medicine sector, but they struggle to make their treasure financially viable. Local farmers are increasingly faced with a mix of challenges, including those that are naturally occurring and those that are caused by man, that influence their capacity to increase production and move towards profitable farming systems which threaten their livelihoods, such as:

- They completely lack access to profitable, value-added markets, and many struggle to link consistently to ethical buyers. Our society runs on tea, smallholder tea farmer - distributor relationships should be drive long-term business for their traditional products, but farmers rarely earn a living wage (despite their tea products are selling on global market with a expensive price).

- In fact, there have been a increasing number of foreign companies (Taiwan, China, Japan) in recent years in this region. This tea colonists companies had not been sustainable with questionable business connections, unfair business practices and transparency issues. High production constraints in smallholder tea farmers also make agriculture unattractive to young people.

- There are enterprises bribe local government authorities to exercise eminent domain to break up competing operations and eliminate threats. Even worse, there were some government officials that own stakes in local cooperatives operations currently skim smallholder tea farmers from market opportunities and resell, they paid for local people who are irresponsibly cutting down the ancient trees to collect the buds for the White Fairy Tea. More badly, they have built their own reputation by skimming the fund resources (including State, International agencies grants for agricultural operations of vulnerable groups). These issues threaten local tea farmer's sustainable livelihoods and their indigenous knowledge; many young people stopped farming to join a group of city earners although they do not have enough the skills in hand.

Local tea sector doesn’t create prosperity for all its inhabitants equitably. Something is deeply out of balance.


WHAT WE DO


We need to start seeing the systemic nature of the challenges that vulnerable groups face and play a stronger role to helping them overcome those challenges.

With a deep belief that: Social enterprise - A new model for poverty reduction and employment generation, enables a partnership approach based on local entrepreneurship, creates the innovation framework as a multidimensional experiential model targeting sustainability.


We were established to aim at:

• Improve the capacity for farmers in ancient Snow Shan tea villages by introducing livelihood models base their indigenous knowledge, include tea, develop these diversified livelihoods models

• Enhance knowledge on the role of ancient Snow Shan tea trees for the income and food security of hill tribes, reduces poverty and increases resilience to the expected impact of climate change.

• Focus on building entrepreneurial capacities of local youth to exploit business opportunities, empowering them to start up local businesses and work off their own skill sets.

•To tackle the deep-rooted issues and some of the most complex challenges that both our tribes and tea lovers on worldwide are facing through established the partnership between stakeholders. Connecting ethical tea buyers/lovers/drinkers with tea products and culture of Baiyue tribes.

• Providing transparency about tea and build a more sustainable supply chain by empowering all stakeholders in tea – from farmers to tea drinker/lovers. Drive long-term, systemic change across three thematic areas in tea – economics, culture and ethical tea partnerships.

Our society is a membership organization working with local tribes that lived in this region to secure their sustainable livelihood and promote the values of cultural heritage.

We made up of tea experts, tea lovers on worldwide, dedicated leaders, master of spirits (shaman) of local tribes and tea farmers across most the foot of tea mountain range,

We are uniquely placed to bring the right partnerships together to achieve our vision of a thriving, socially just and environmentally sustainable tea products and culture.

 

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