Dilmah – Doing Good All Along

One thing I really  enjoy is finding out that a brand or product I like is ethical in their trading. I think it’s more encouraging and empowering to find and learn about these companies, rather than just those who are not doing the right thing by their workers. I much more enjoy scanning the shelves for products I enjoy, knowing they are made ethically, than boycotting those who are not. (side note: does anyone know if boycotting actually works?)

I was enjoying a cup of tea at Mum’s the other day and commented on the lovely, full flavour. She mentioned it was Dilmah. I’ve always enjoyed Dilmah tea but have avoided purchasing it because it lacks the Fair Trade logo. Silly me. I assumed that because it wasn’t Fair Trade certified that their business structure was detrimental to local communities. As they always say, when you assume you make an ass out of you and me. This was one of those moments 🙂

Upon further inspection I’ve found that Dilmah are not only ethical, but that their business has been built up around their strong, moral beliefs, way before Fair Trade made ethical production popular.

The Dilmah website says of its founder, Dilmah Merrill J. Fernando,

“He acknowledged that no one could single-handedly establish and build a business, and that any endeavour would succeed only with the goodwill, involvement and dedication of workers and the community. Naturally, therefore, they should share in the success of his business.

“With this notion he set out to establish a business that would genuinely be a matter of human service.

“Today, more than half a century later, Merrill’s business – Dilmah Tea – is flourishing. And he has not forgotten the pledge he made in the 1950s; his business is genuinely ethical , and he shares his success with his workers and the community through his MJF Charitable Foundation.

“The MJF Charitable Foundation touches the lives of over 10,000 underprivileged people each year. Dilmah Conservation is helping to protect our precious environment whilst promoting sustainability.”

Dilmah produce an incredibly wide range of tea, including an organic range, wide variety or originals, herbal infusions and others I had never heard of.

Click here to read about their different projects.

So go ahead, buy all the Dilmah tea you want. And enjoy every sip knowing that you’re helping a good company do good in their community.

Thanks to: BlissTree, Dilmah Facebook, Gloria’s Tea Cuppe, Integritea, Dilmah Tea


4 thoughts on “Dilmah – Doing Good All Along

  1. Joni,

    I am honored that Gloria’s Tea Cuppe has in any way contributed to this article. I have found you by accident. I decided to serve and retail Dilmah even before tasting the tea. Definitely the integrity, ethics, sustainability and the MjF charitable foundation pulled on my heart strings. I am naturally a passionate person in the things I believe in and Dilmah was something I could be passionate about to carry me through the years. The Dilmah Family team has crossed over borders in relationships and that makes it very exciting. We love people and we enjoy it over a cuppa Dilmah. I meet with the US Dilmah Family team at the Las Vegas World Tea Expo and Dilhan Fernando will coming through for a visit. I will send them your way.
    Best Regards,

    • Hi Gloria

      Thanks so much for your comment! Dilmah is such a great company! It was great to hear about what Dilmah has meant for you over the years too 🙂

  2. I’m skeptical as to why Dilmah have not gotten Fairtrade certification themselves. Certifiers at least permit the rhetoric of a company to be scrutinised independently – otherwise there is no way to verify the nice stories companies tell of themselves.

    It’s good to direct money to charity, but it’s better to improve the capacity of workers to help themselves – which I understand to be the role of Fairtrade. Otherwise the actual rates of pay, and working conditions do not improve, and the voices of workers aren’t heard.

  3. Dilmah goes beyond fair trade, in that they do not ask anyone to contribute to a logo. That cost is not passed down to the consumer. They fund over 100 projects yearly and provide workers for schools, hospitals, special care and senior centers, maternity centers. They offer micro-finance, empowerment programs, welfare, housing, teach lifelong skills, and so much more to Sri Lankans that contribute to the success of the tea industry. I had the honor of seeing first hand how by cutting out the middle man, you can make a huge difference in raising people out of poverty. Buying a logo actually does very little for the farmers. See http://www.globalreportinginitiative.org Maybe if more companies acted like Dilmah, there would not be a need for fair trade to make a business of it.

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