Soil that is healthy, thriving and alive
Clipper buys its tea direct from the Ambootia Group in India. Ambootia run 17 estates, all of which are organic and Fairtrade. In 2015 the group took over the Cherideo-Purbat tea estate, which at the time was very different to what it is today. Years of pesticide use had destroyed the soil and many of the tea plants were ravaged by infection.
Ambootia converted the estate to organic and there was a tremendous improvement in the plant health – a total ecological change. This starts with the soil. The group uses its own rich home-made fertilisers that use the farm’s otherwise waste resources and help to keep the soil healthy, thriving, and living. Three types of organic fertiliser are made on the Cherido Purbat estate: vermicompost, cow pit pat and compost heaps. Each of these has its own important function.
The cow pit-pat and water solution boosts growth and protects the plants against pesticides and diseases. The cow pit pat is specially formulated to activate microorganisms in the leaves, and contains a concentration of fungi that kills mites.
The natural compost builds soil carbon and also provides essential microbes to the soil.
Soil health is at the root of protecting biodiversity, and Clipper is proud to work with tea partners who live and breathe its organic values.
Wild diversity at Welbeck
At 7,250 feet, the Welbeck tea estate is the second highest in the Nilgiris. The estate has been organic since 2000 and has been working with Clipper for over 20 years.
The natural farming methods and fertilisers on organic farms helps biodiversity to thrive. At the Welbeck estate, there is an abundance of flora and fauna that supports the ideal natural environment for wildlife of all kinds. Around 70 bison roam the estate in small herds, moving slowly and silently alongside the workers as they pluck tea. These animals not only eat the weeds but their dung also acts as a natural fertiliser. Natural predators like leopards and tigers have also been spotted in the area. There are signs of deer, porcupines and other animals, all which live synergistically and have their role in the harmony of the estate.
The Welbeck estate illustrates how natural and organic farming helps biodiversity to thrive, not just survive – an ethos that is reflected in Clipper’s brand beliefs.