Since the TOTUS (Tea of the United States) awards in Hawaii last October, Hawaii tea growers have been working with the state government to establish true origin geographic indicators for the Hawaii tea industry. It is through this initiative that Hawaii tea growers marketing Hawaii grown tea will assure the public of origin authenticity.
On April 28, Hawaii Sen. Mike Gabbard introduced a resolution ‘Encouraging the Department of Agriculture to adopt standards established by the tea industry to define geographical region designations for tea grown in the state.’ Local Hawaii growers and anyone else interested in this issue were invited to support the resolution by submitting written testimonials.
Eva Lee, TOTUS awards executive director and tea farmer on Hawaii Island, has driven this quest for defined geographic indicators and said, “The origin pride initiative is the founding basis in awarding excellence for domestically grown tea. State by state we hope that local governments will engage with regional tea growers for official origin recognition furthering the US domestic tea industry.”