Edward and Kenneth first met in 2018 when Edward came to our tea house in Chiang Mai to see if we were interested in buying tea from him. Following that, Kenneth joined Edward to the mountains around Chiang Rai for a visit to see the area and how the tea was grown. Unfortunately, what they initially went to look at was a normal tea plantation, where the forest had been cut down to make room for the tea plants. After talking more, Kenneth and Edward came to the conclusion that they were going to start reforestation efforts in the area, and see to it that the forest one day would return.
During the first year of the project, Edward took it upon himself to plant 1000 trees in the area, and in the second year another 1000. While it will take some time before the results start to show, we are taking steps in the right direction. Kenneth and Edward also started to work in another nearby forest area where there was tea growing inside to start pruning the tea plants to produce tea. This forested area turned out to be a great example for nearby tea producers in 2019 as the rainy season started later than usual, and tea plants were dying in the heat out on the fields. The tea in the forest however was just fine, and more producers are now starting reforestation efforts to get the benefits of a healthy ecosystem to their tea plantations as well.