Beyond Fair Trade, Creating New Trade

The trade for commodities like coffee and tea have been built on the exploitation of impoverished people without labor rights or worker protection laws by large and owners. In contrast, in the herbal world, harvesting wild herbs is a time-honored tradition that people do for additional income. The majority of cultivated herbs are still grown by small holder farming families typically getting their food as well as their income from fewer than 10 acres of land. Fair trade certification for these types of harvests is not relevant or practical. The marketplace is setting the pricing for botanicals based on people’s willingness to grow and harvest them.

If you ask Caroline what she is most proud of in her long career, she will tell you this: her greatest achievement has been the creation of new trade for unique herbal ingredients that protects rainforests and wild terrain. New trade in botanicals provides income to rural communities where opportunities to earn money, especially for women, are scarce.

New Sources for Trade

While some of Teeccino’s ingredients are organically grown in Europe and the USA, many botanicals require a lot of hand labor that isn’t available in wealthier countries. In our effort to source certified organic botanicals, Teeccino had to go to lower income countries where labor for weeding and harvesting is more plentiful.

In 2004, Caroline began developing new sources for chicory root in India with small‑scale family farmers who would grow it organically. At the same time, she pioneered the development of new trade for wild‑harvested ramón seeds from the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala. New trade in botanicals like the ramón seed, which was previously going to waste on the forest floor, provides more ways to relieve poverty and raise the quality of life for rural communities.


With over 40 years of experience sourcing herbs from around the world, Caroline‘s expertise has allowed us to continually improve the quality and availability of the herbs used in Teeccino’s blends. In her search for traditional herbs in other cultures with roasted flavor profiles, she has developed new trade for ingredients that provide a broader array of taste appeal to more customers. Other tea manufacturers around the world have also benefited from Caroline’s work, as demand for organic sources of these herbs increased once they became available. Our commitment to organic certification has made a big difference in the lives of the people who grow and harvest our organic herbs. By promoting and training people to use organic agricultural techniques, exposure to harmful chemicals has been eliminated and the overall health of our farming families has benefited greatly.

Rainforest Preservation & Poverty relief in the Maya Biosphere Reserve

Teeccino’s work with wild-harvested ramón seeds collected in nine villages within the Maya Biosphere Reserve provides both income and food while preserving the forest canopy. We understand that rainforest preservation depends on finding ways for people to derive sustainable income that is compatible with the forest in which they live. Impoverished people don’t have the luxury of waiting for new sources of income to be developed. Food and medicine are necessities that can’t be postponed until tomorrow. Solutions have to give immediate returns.

Empowering Rural Communities

By giving economic value to ramón trees and supporting local workshops to teach women how to prepare food made with ramón seeds for their families, Teeccino has increased the income earning opportunities in rural communities and raised the nutritional content of their diets. Since ramón seeds are fat free, they are hard and therefore cannot be eaten easily. Due to cultural disruption in Guatemala, local knowledge of how the Maya used ramón seeds had been lost. With the help of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Guatemala, Teeccino has helped to spread the word that a free, nutritious food is available right in their own surroundings that improves health and also provides income. Local businesses using ramón seeds such as bakeries have also sprung up since Teeccino began its work to revive the indigenous knowledge of this nutritious seed.

Teeccino makes an annual donation to the local organizations in the Petén region of Guatemala that manage the ramón harvest to benefit the communities in the Maya Biosphere Reserve.

You Save, We Give

The Teeccino Lid Program

Each month, via our You Save, We Give campaigns, we invite our customers to contribute some of their savings from a purchase made during a Teeccino sale to the featured organization. We then match the total of all donations made that month and send it to the non-profit organization. By all of us joining forces together, we can have a greater impact to support their good work. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with our You Save, We Give campaigns.

Learn More About the Organizations We Support:


Vitamins can prevent illnesses caused by the deficiency of essential nutrients. When combined with simple medicines that fight parasites and worms, vitamins improve children’s health in developing countries where unsanitary water and food causes many health problems, particularly among the youth.

Teeccino supports programs run by Vitamin Angels to provide nutritional supplements that prevent childhood blindness and malnutrition in Maya communities in Belize and Guatemala. Vitamin Angels is dedicated to reducing child mortality worldwide by advancing availability, access and use of essential nutrients to newborns, infants and children under five. We invite you to learn more about Vitamin Angels’ work at


We’re proud to support Kiss the Ground, a non-profit dedicated to inspiring participation in global regeneration starting with soil. Healing our planet is possible, and the solution is right under our feet! When farmers cultivate healthy soils, landscapes are revitalized, watersheds are restored, biodiversity flourishes, communities become stronger and more resilient, and greenhouse gases are drawn down from the atmosphere through carbon sequestration. This amazing process could reverse global warming if it is widely adopted by farmers.

Kiss the Ground teaches us that together, we can envision a future where humans have embraced their role as caretakers of the planet and each other, and earth is thriving because humanity is in balance with all living systems. We invite you to learn more about Kiss the Ground’s work at


Teeccino supports The Wild Foundation, an organization devoted to protecting and restoring at least half of the world’s wilderness and wildlife while meeting the needs of human communities. Their work began in Africa in the 1970’s and now spans five continents.

The Wild Foundation brings together thought leaders in wilderness conservation for The World Wilderness Congress every four years. Learn more about The WILD Foundation and their programs.


Cool Effect was born from the idea that while humans are causing climate change, humans will also solve it.  Their community supports projects around the globe that are preventing greenhouse gases from entering the air through tree planting, land restoration, preservation projects and other interventions. Small actions are creating planet-sized change! Learn more about Cool Effect’s work!


Teeccino proudly supports programs run by Direct Relief, a non-profit, non-governmental organization that improves the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations by mobilizing and providing essential medical resources needed for their care. Direct Relief responds rapidly when natural disasters strike vulnerable communities in the US and around the world. They support local organizations by providing life-saving resources such as medicines, medical supplies, and equipment. - We invite you to learn more about their work at


One of Teeccino's founding missions is to support the preservation of rainforests. We are inspired by the work of iGiveTrees, which has funded rural seed collectors, tree nurseries, and small local NGOs in Brazil for the last 10 years to restore the Atlantic Forest. While 93% of this unique ecosystem has been deforested, second growth forest is being regenerated thanks to international donations. The project has won international acclaim as a citizen initiative that mitigates the impacts of global warming. We invite you to learn more about their work at


Teeccino is committed to supporting healthy communities and promoting environmental justice. We are inspired by the good work of Green Action for Health & Environmental Justice, a grassroots organization led by frontline communities impacted by pollution and environmental racism.

Green Action mobilizes community power to change government and industry policies and practices in order to advance environmental, social, economic and climate justice. We invite you to learn more about their work at


Rodale Institute is a nonprofit organization leading the regenerative organic movement through research, farmer training, and consumer education since 1947. Regenerative organic agriculture is a holistic system that works with nature to improve resources, instead of just maintaining them – which, with the current state of soil health and industrial agriculture around the world, simply isn’t good enough. The result is healthy soil, which grows healthy food, which makes for healthy people. By abstaining from harmful chemicals and encouraging natural systems, regenerative organic farmers help create a better future for people and the planet. Explore how regenerative organic agriculture goes beyond sustainable:


We are proud to be a part of the Organic Trade Association which advocates for improving organic standards and preserving consumer health and that of our planet. The Organic Trade Association is critical to encourage and protect organic farming practices, and to share messages about the positive environmental and nutritional attributes of organic products with consumers, the media, and policymakers. We invite you to learn more about their work at


Teeccino is a proud member of AHPA which advocates for effective laws and regulations that promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. As the voice for herbal products industry, AHPA conducts educational programs to improve professional standards. We invite you to learn more about their work at


Teeccino is a proud member of the American Botanical Council. Since 1988, the American Botanical Council (ABC) has been educating consumers, healthcare professionals, researchers, educators, industry and the media on the safe and effective use of herbs and medicinal plants. We invite you to learn more about their work at

Donations to Community Events

Teeccino makes in-kind donations to a variety of events run by non-profit organizations or health educators. We donate Teeccino Herbal Coffees & Teas to be served at events, trial-size packets for event gift bags, and gift baskets for auctions.

In order to select among the many organizations that ask for support, we identify events that resonate with our brand and our mission. Thus, we primarily support health events or educational events for people with a health focus. If your organization is having an event that attracts people who are interested in health, please contact us.