Behind the Tea: Our Journey to Become Certified Organic
We at 8th Wonder Tea take the quality and potential environmental impact of our products very seriously. That’s why we’re Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth, one of the top third party certifiers in the country.
But the journey to certification wasn’t easy. It took time, new-forged partnerships, and our own capital to rock such a distinguished organic stamp of approval.
Here’s the story about how we went the extra mile to make sure you can enjoy exceptional superfood teas made with ingredients that are grown in ecologically-sound ways, from field to bottle.
Our team set out to become Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth because, well, they’re the best. Oregon Tilth cares about the integrity of each brand they certify, with standards that go well beyond existing USDA organic regulations. Their agents become deeply involved with each company they audit, up and down the entire supply chain. This personal, thorough approach is why we were determined to see their organic stamp on our teas.
After we lined up our certified organic suppliers, we visited several facilities that brew and bottle tea with the intent of finding the best. Redlaw Sauce Company, a local Colorado-based co-packer, had the cleanest, most high-tech facility. They have a high audit rate, great protocols, and work with brands that are known for quality and transparency.
But it was almost too good to be true.
When we asked about becoming organic, Redlaw wasn’t certified yet. This was an issue, as every stop on the supply chain must be audited and certified to become Certified Organic. This includes where products are processed, packaged, and stored; not just the farms.
Despite this barrier, we refused to give up. Redlaw was simply the best.
We spoke at length with their team, and came to the conclusion that we could raise the funds needed to audit the facility and ultimately obtain Oregon Tilth certification. This proved to be expensive, so we came up with a clever idea: what if multiple brands that use this co-packer came together to help raise money for the fees?
We reached out to our fellow Redlaw-produced brands, and found that a need existed for the facility to become Certified Organic. It was better for everyone involved, and would open up a world of possibilities for other brands looking to become certified as well.
We built a relationship over the coming weeks with Binnie’s Coconut Butter to help cover certification costs, and Savory Spice helped Redlaw prepare for the audit, coaching them through the process. Soon enough, a Certification Officer flew out to Colorado to get things moving. Because of the outstanding operations and condition of the facility, Redlaw’s co-packing arm of the business became Certified Organic in no time.
This experience gave us new friends in the industry, built a strong relationship with our partner, and allowed us to realize our greatest dream – to become Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth. Stories like this prove that no matter what barriers you may encounter, you can achieve anything with a little creativity and hard work. And hey, it’s even better when we get creative together.