The University of Montana Celebrates Earth Week in an Elephant Friendly™ Way

Earth Day is a time to celebrate nature and consider how our actions make a difference for the future.  The University of Montana, where the Elephant Friendly™ idea was founded as a result of extensive research and community work in partnership with the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network.  This campus is now going Elephant Friendly™ for Earth Week with the launch of sales of Elephant Friendly™ products on campus.  To celebrate Earth Week this year, students, faculty, staff and visitors are invited to drop by The Market in the University Center between 11 am and 1 pm on Tuesday, April 23, for a free cup of tea and a preview of the latest Certified Elephant Friendly™ products from India’s first Certified Elephant Friendly™ farms.  Visitors will have the chance to enter their name into a drawing for free Elephant Friendly™ Tea products.

The University of Montana Dining Services is moving towards a more sustainable future with the selection of products that reduce impact on the environment, and in the case of Elephant Friendly™ Tea, actually encourage positive change from farm to cup.  The campus community will have the chance to support elephant conservation by the cup by drinking Certified Elephant Friendly™ Tea, now on shelves and being sold by the cup at The Market.   The tea sales will help support tea farmers and their communities sustain Elephant Friendly™ practices, which in turn helps reverse the decline of Asian elephants in the wild by providing safe passage and improved habitat for dwindling elephant populations.

Photo:  The campus community can now find Certified Elephant Friendly™ Tea from Elephant Origins on the top shelf of the Tea and Coffee Section  and by the cup at the coffee bar/register at The Market in the University Center at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana, USA.  


Elephant Friendly™ Farmer Wins Top Presidential Award for Women in India

While women in India fight for opportunity, one woman has found that the path less travelled made all the difference.  Tea planter Sonia Jabbar, whose tea estate was the first large plantation to receive Elephant Friendly™ Certification, has recently been recognized with an award presented by the President of India, the Nari Shakti Puraskar, for her work as a tea planter to save the Indian elephant.  This is the highest civilian honor awarded to women.   On March 8, 2019, Sonia was presented the award by the President of India at a ceremony at the Presidential Palace.  Congratulations Sonia!

The IUCN Asian Elephant Specialist Group Features Elephant Friendly™ Tea in Gajah Journal

The IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, has featured the Elephant Friendly™ Tea Certification Program in the News Briefs Section of their recent issue of Gajah Journal.   If you are interested in Asian elephant conservation issues, scientific research and the latest innovative approaches to help save this globally endangered species, Gajah is a must-read.   Go to  for the current issue, and click on News Briefs for the story about Elephant Friendly™ Tea.


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.