Clipper Tea

overall rating:



Ieva Sturina
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Clipper tea brands itself as "Natural, Fair and Delicious" believing every cup counts. This is especially important when considering that tea is the most popular drink after water with 70,000 cups being drunk every second. The company is not only a certified B-corporation but also part of the Organic Soil Association and has partnered with the National Trust to support their Making Meadows appeal by donating a total of £50,000.

In 1994 Clipper became the UKs first Fairtrade tea company, even helping to write the Fairtrade standards, exhibiting their commitment to their producers since the beginning. 25 years later, the company is now the largest buyer of Fairtrade tea.

Clipper also has an equally strong commitment to being an organic producer. Their save the bees campaign is just one of the ways they showcase this.

What it's made of:


They claim all their products are made with pure, natural ingredients and a clear conscience. They achieve this by ensuring all ingredients are ethically sourced, naturally produced and GM-free. A key way in which they pursue this is through organic farming.

They are also doing incredible things with their packaging. In 2018, Clipper became the world's first tea brand to create unbleached, non-GM plant-based, biodegradable teabags. These replaced the traditional tea bags which contain a small amount of polypropylene plastic used to help the tea bag paper seal together. Instead, their tea bags are now sealed with a non-GM bio-material made from plant cellulose, known as PLA which is entirely natural, industry compostable and more environmentally friendly. In addition, these tea bags can be disposed of in the household food waste bin.

On their website, they also include a packing guide that breaks down what their packaging is made of and how it should be disposed of. Excluding one part of the packaging, the rest is all recyclable and some additionally biodegradable. The part which is not recyclable is the foil inner bag which has to go in the waste bin. However, they hope that if everything goes according to their plan, they will switch to a fully biodegradable wrap by the end of the year.

How it's made:


Tea is a very labour intensive product to produce. It requires workers to complete tasks such as plucking, weeding, pruning and composition, all before the tea even makes it to a factory for processing.

Clipper employs organic farming due to its many benefits for the planet. It helps slow down global warming as organic soils can absorb five times more carbon than forests. Organic farms also encourage native wildlife and diversity as well as protect vital insect life and the ecosystem. They are more ecologically diverse and home to 30% more species of wildlife on average which rises to 50% for plant, insect and birdlife (including bees).

As the company brands itself as natural, they employ methods to ensure this is the case. None of their products contain anything artificial. They are also committed to being GM-free and therefore only use ingredients from non-GM sources whilst actively discouraging the use of chemicals amongst growers.

Who makes it:


At Clipper, they believe that providing transparency on where their tea is sourced will help build a more sustainable supply chain. This is in line with their philosophy of every cup counts; "Small actions have a big impact and the tea you choose can mean the world of difference to those who produce it"

Dan ( master of tea blending and magic) and James ( master of tea buying and slurping) travel the world to work with amazing growers from the best tea gardens in Africa, India, Sri Lanka. All of these farmers are guaranteed a fair and stable price for their products. Clipper also pay an additional Fairtrade premium which farmers and workers can invest in any project they choose to help improve stands of education, health and housing. In the last 25 years, they have delivered over £4m in Fairtrade premiums.

Assam tea is a world-famous black tea used in their everyday blend. It is grown in Assam, located in the north-east of India. More than 80% of tea pickers in Assam are women. Clipper only buy tea from just seven partner estates in the Assam region. They say it is important to work only with progressive tea estates who look to improve the quality of life for their workers and their families. They have listed their partner gardens as well as partnership length, they are as follows: Attareekhat since 2006, Borenga juli since 2006, Phulbari since 2006, Sewpur since 1999, Tonganagaon since 2004, Cherideo purbat since 2019, Jamguri since 2014, Bhubrighat since 2020, Jalinga since 2013.

The company started out in Dorset, and this is still where their tea is blended: in a tea factory in Beaminster. This factory is carbon neutral and 98% of factory waste is recycled. Wasted tea is used to generate green energy. Dorset is also where the development process behind their new teabags took place.