Carbon neutral tea production in China: three pilot case studies

  • 21/05/2021
  • FAO

It may come as a surprise, but it has been estimated that by driving half a mile in the average car you may be emitting the same amount of CO2eq as drinking a cup of tea! At between 200 and 6 g CO2eq per cup, the tea you choose to drink is making an impact on your carbon footprint. Looking to establish more sustainable tea value chains, and to celebrate International Tea Day 2021, FAO in partnership with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) has published ‘Carbon neutral tea production in China: three pilot case studies’, a new report presenting a methodology for Greenhouse gas accounting (GHG) and mitigation opportunities in tea production. The report is based on research carried out by CAAS’s Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture (IEDA) in cooperation with CAAS’s Tea Research Institute (TRI) following the different production models followed in three tea gardens in China, Dabu in Guangdong Province, and Longquan and Songyang in Zhejiang Province. The report states that the tea industry and its value chain generate about 15 to 19 kg of CO2eq for each kilogram of tea produced, attributable to different stages in the tea value chain. At the same time, tea itself is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, particularly to extreme temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns.