Elephant Origins sources the highest quality teas from Certified Elephant Friendly™ farms so that you can enjoy conservation by the cup!
The story behind Elephant Friendly™ Tea begins in the elephant origin lands of India. In 2012, communities worked with wildlife experts to launch a conservation program to address risks to endangered Asian elephant populations in one of the last remaining strongholds of the species- Assam, India, a major tea-growing region. Identifying a number of negative impacts that directly related to conventional tea agriculture, from electrocutions to poisonings to ditch hazards, small and large tea producers joined forces to develop ideas on how to make the tea industry more "elephant friendly." The idea was an elephant conservation incentive program for tea growers. To make this happen, the University of Montana and the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network partnered to initiate the Elephant Friendly™ Certification program for tea growers. Best practices were identified in order to reduce the deaths of elephants that were contributing to their decline towards extingction in the wild. Addressing the challenges of loss and fragmentation of the elephants' natural habitat became part of the strategy.
As of 2016, recognition of Certified Elephant Friendly™ Tea producers began with the first small tea farm owned by the Bodosa Family in Assam, India, and is now expanding to include more growers who would benefit from market opportunity that goes hand in hand with sustaining Elephant Friendly™ certification compliance on their farms.
Tea growers who meet the stringent standards of compliance reduce the likelihood of mortalities of elephants and support improved human-elephant coexistence -- which has benefits to humans as well as elephants.
By summer of 2018, Elephant Origins Company was established to bring Certified Elephant Friendly™ tea products to consumers and support the export of Certified Elephant Friendly™ Tea into new markets through direct trade with farmers. In the fall of 2018, company founder Lisa Mills was joined by Cindi Neiswonger, an experienced tea professional with a passion for the elephant conservation mission, as members of Elephant Origins. Elephant Origins is set up as a philanthropic company to support Certified Elephant Friendly™ farms and expand the elephant conservation mission to include a growing number of certified farms.
Certified Elephant Friendly™ Tea farms provide safe passage for elephants. Tenzing Bodosa (shown with his family) is a tea farmers leading the way to promote human-elephant coexistence, improved landscape connectivity and safe passage for wild herds.