A memorable journey into biodiversiT EA

by Aparna Sharma

I found Monsoon Tea in Emquartier at an ecomarket and I loved the brand, I loved their idea of growing tea in harmony with the forest to preserve biodiversity.

I was immediately intrigued, the tea tasted great and I have been an avid tea drinker for many years now. I wanted to meet the person behind the brand and understand his vision for the brand. Kenneth Rimdahl, the CEO of Monsoon Tea is one of the most humble, intelligent and witty people I have ever met. Everytime I asked him,”what was the driving force behind this idea of reforestation to grow tea in a sustainable way?’. He would laugh and say, ”I am stupid”. I would laugh and say,”Common!, I am really curious to know what motivates you”. He would then say,”I just want to leave behind a better planet and I really think it is possible to do business without damaging the planet”. He is not just in the business of selling ordinary tea, he sells biodiversity and harmony in every package of tea. Spending an entire day with Kenneth Rimdahl in a forest which grows the tea was such a wonderful experience. His is not just a story about making sustainable tea, of
course that is what he does but for me, his vision for his brand is a story of hope. It is a story about a person who has dreams of increasing forests and ensuring that he can empower the tea farmers. The entire business model is based on ensuring that the people who work for them and the natural environment are not exploited. Everytime, I drink their tea, I feel
like I am sipping joy, love and hope.The yogi in me makes me write all these words which might make me sound koo koo to some people but I love talking to trees and plants and I feel energy in what I eat.

The forest I visited was in the middle of Chiang Mai and Pai and I saw how a thriving forest filled with biodiversity does not have to be destroyed in order to make profit.The idea that money can be made while the planet blossoms and thrives sounds so idealistic but it is possible.I hope this idea is taken up by many more entrepreneurs, just standing with Kenneth Rimdahl in the middle of this forest and talking about reforestation gave me so much positive energy and hope that it is possible to mitigate climate change. All of us may not be able to go for climate strikes and fight for climate justice but each one of us
can definitely support the brands which are doing business in a sustainable way. It is important that we ensure that we stop supporting brands that are destroying the planet and start supporting brands which are ensuring that our planet will thrive. The money we spend is a vote for the planet

Sir David Attenborough, an English broadcaster and natural historian and many others have repeatedly told us that we cannot continue in the same path of destruction and deforestation. We must preserve our forests and ensure that biodiversity is restored. The science on saving the planet is very clear, biodiversity must never be compromised for corporate greed. Fortunately, entrepreneurs like Kenneth Rimdahl are ensuring biodiversity is never compromised and giving consumers like me who don’t want to consume products which are damaging the planet an opportunity to buy products which are sustainable. For more details about their tea and visiting their forest, please check their website www.monsoontea.co.th

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