Ambootia Tea Garden in the Darjeeling region of the southern Himalayas has been combining economic success with ecological and social commitment for years.
Sanjay Bansal, the tea garden's owner, converted the whole production to biodynamic cultivation methods in 1994. Nowadays, workers and their families are supplied with environmentally-friendly energy from a biogas plant and a hydroelectric installation. In addition, employees enjoy extensive benefits: a regular income with profit sharing, medical care and support in vocational training. An important social and economic contribution is made by the "worker's garden project": The small Demeter-certified "worker's gardens" can be used by the tea garden's employees to grow their own plants.
Ambootia employee Mr Pradhan: "My name is Dhurba Pradhan. I live with my family in Panch Gheria, a small village within the tea garden. I was given a piece of land directly by my house which I use to grow ginger. The additional income which I earn from the sales gives me financial security, so I can offer my family a very good standard of living. Besides, I save part of the money for my daughter Sumritee." Ulrich Walter GmbH has been purchasing teas from Ambootia since the late 1990s.