Why Should Your Brew Be Elephant Friendly?

‘Elephant-friendly tea?’ Yup, you heard that right. Find out why you should be more concerned with your choice of brew

 by Sharmila Vaidyanathan

Check out this Nature In Focus magazine article by Sharmila Vaidyanathan 



The Elephant Friendly™ conservation efforts make the Mongabay list of positive actions towards biodiversity conservation in 2018


When the University of Montana and the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network joined forces to create an innovative model that would bring agriculture to the forefront of the conservation of endangered elephants,  the idea of the Certified Elephant Friendly™  program was born.

Check out the Mongabay story about why this program tops the list in India for biodiversity conservation!

Click Here for Link to Mongabay News Story

First Large Grower is Awarded Elephant Friendly™ Certification

In 2018, Nuxalbari Tea Estate in Darjeeling District of the State of West Bengal, India became the first tea plantation to be awarded Certified Elephant Friendly™ status under our new Large Grower Certification Program.  With 1200 acres near the border of Nepal, Nuxalbari Tea Estate serves as a model site for Best Practices for Tea Production for Elephant Conservation and Human-elephant Conflict Reduction.  Nuxalbari Estate owner Sonia Jabbar is a fifth generation tea planter, and has been working for the past 7 years to ensure that she not only carries on the family tradition of a deep love for the land and growing quality tea, but that stewardship of the environment will go hand-in-hand with farming the land.  Sonia stands alone in India as a woman who owns and directly manages her own large tea estate, and as a single mother who is challenged to make the estate and on-site tea factory both economically viable, but also responsive the need to apply sustainable practices such as converting the estate to organic production to improving energy efficiency in the factory.  Like the matriarch of an elephant herd, Sonia determines the path forward for her team, and against all odds is finding that others not only support her in her mission, but want to follow her example.  Sonia’s deep love of elephants has led her to not only want to manage the tea property as a place elephants are welcome as they move between the dwindling forests of the region, but she has expanded her reach to include a habitat reforestation project on site, a youth nature club, a team to ensure that elephants can move through the farm free of harassment, and even an outreach to local farmers to promote coexistence and secure a brighter future for the endangered Asian elephant.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day Early for the Love of Elephants!

Join us for Elephant Friendly Tea Tasting and Visual Storytelling in Bend, Oregon February 6, 2018 7-8 pm at The Environmental Center. This event is sponsored by the University of Montana Broader Impacts Group, the Wildlife.  Friendly Enterprise Network, and Bend, Oregon’s very own Metolius Artisan Teas.  Metolius Artisan Teas is the first Oregon-based company to source Certified Elephant FriendlyTM Tea, and they wholesale tea to a long list of fine establishments, so we expect to see Elephant Friendly Tea soon becoming available in a number of locations (see our Where to Buy section on this web site, we will keep you posted!).

Metolius Artisan Tea staff will be on hand at this event to serve samples of their new Elephant Friendly line of fine black tea sourced from the world’s first Certified Elephant Friendly tea plantation in Assam, India.  Bring your own tea cup or mug and save a tree!  Certified Elephant Friendly is always pesticide and herbicide free!

University of Montana’s Lisa Mills and local Bend resident Marina Richie will be presenting a slide show of elephants and the story behind the Elephant Friendly movement, and how this project that is beginning to fund the restoration of elephant corridors and reduces human-elephant conflict was established.  Learn about the natural history of Asian elephants and what is being done to reduce the impact of human activity on their populations, which are now facing the risk of extinction in the wild within this century.   Learn how you can help stop the decline of elephant populations by the simple act of drinking a cup of tea!

Valentine gift packs of tea will be available for purchase- give the gift of conservation to someone you care about!  A tree will be planted with the profits from each sale!