Sourcing Stories: Certified Elephant Friendly Tenzing Tea

Sourcing Stories: Certified Elephant Friendly Tenzing Tea

Metolius Tea sources as many ingredients as possible directly from small co-op and family-owned farms. We have found the most vibrant flavors, values and relationships at the community level. Our most cherished farming partnerships practice sustainable farming and affect measurable social impact in their communities.


Elephant Friendly certification was created out of a desire to improve the conditions elephants face as a result of agricultural practices in their regions.

Tenzing tea is our certified elephant friendly tea sourced from Tenzing Bodosa, a tea farmer in the Assam region of India who has pioneered the elephant-friendly farming approach.

Instead of creating a hostile environment to the elephants coming into the tea farm looking for food, Tenzing created an elephant friendly area for elephants and other wildlife to be able to visit and enjoy, providing food to them by planting bamboo, bananas, elephant grass and apples. He also uses organic farming practices to avoid causing harm through pesticide use. These efforts help promote a positive relationship between the people farming the tea and the elephants in the area. 


This is in contrast to the perils that elephants can face in other farming approaches, where they are at risk of electrocution, harm from pesticides, aggression from humans, and traversing drainage ditches. 


Elephant Friendly certification came about as a way to train, recognize, and incentivize tea farms that were working to implement improved practices.

In collaboration with an Indian team who identified the main causes of injuries/deaths to elephants, founder Lisa Mills and her partners at University of Montana developed the Elephant Friendly certification program to address the harms befalling Asian Elephants. From there she established the Elephant Origins Tea company as a way to bring Elephant-Friendly teas to the global community and help support the certified local farms while encouraging other farms to follow in their footsteps.


Tenzing Bodosa’s farm was the first in the world to become certified Elephant Friendly, and we are proud to have him as a supplier and namesake for our Tenzing tea.


For further information regarding Elephant Friendly certification, its origins, and how to support its mission, please visit the Elephant Origins site.

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