OMGTea is a small and ethical business with a big heart. We are committed to helping people live healthier lives for longer, via the provision of high quality organic matcha products and our involvement in scientific research and we are equally committed to doing what we can to help keep our planet healthy.
Sustainable Farming & Production
All OMGTea products are 100% organic. Our supplier in Japan was one of the first to start growing organic tea back in 1978 and continues to support sustainable land management that preserves soil fertility in the long term, keeping the impact on the environment to a minimum.
You may choose to buy organic for health or ethical reasons or that may not even be a consideration in your purchase decision. Beyond health and ethics, though, organic farming practices result in numerous environmental benefits, including reduced exposure to pesticides and chemicals, healthier soil (with helpful bacteria), reduced soil erosion and, water conservation and health. It also supports animal health and welfare and a healthy organic agriculture system can reduce carbon dioxide and help slow climate change.
Another consideration is that matcha is the only kind of tea that uses the entire leaf and therefore, it offers health benefits and environmental advantages that other varieties of tea do not.
Tea only requires harvesting the plant’s leaves meaning that…
Furthermore, by using the whole leaf, matcha requires less waste than other types of tea, which only use part of the leaf and only for an extract with the bag or leaves discarded after use.
Sustainable Business Practices
At OMGTea, we are committed to limiting our impact on the environment by adopting sustainable practices beyond just organic, and are continually monitoring our performance in these areas, including:
- Minimising waste, both when it comes to packaging but also in our day-to-day practices
- Economical use of raw materials. We strive to limit the use of packaging materials to what is necessary.
- Using more sustainable packaging materials for our products wherever possible. For example, our labels are made from FSC approved paper, and our tins are made of recyclable tinplate; we even recommend our customers re-use them for storing things like herbs and spices, buttons, etc.
- Re-use of materials wherever possible. For example, we re-use packing materials received in shipments from our supplier when sending shipments out to our wholesale and retail customers.
- Efficient supply chain management. This includes initiatives such as ordering in larger pallet quantities to limit the number of shipments.
As a small business with limited resource, we will not always be able to lead the charge when it comes to new sustainability initiatives, but we are willing to make hard decisions to ensure we are doing what we can and that our business objectives are aligned with our values. In fact, we discontinued a product that at one time, was perceived as a key opportunity for taking OMGTea into the mainstream.
Balancing Sustainability with Consumer Needs
OMGTea is a health company first and foremost and from the very beginning, founder Katherine Swift’s vision has been to help people lead healthier lives by spreading the word about the many benefits of incorporating matcha into our daily lives. Katherine also founded The Healthy Life Foundation, a charity that funds research into age-related disease, to further help people live healthier lives for longer.
In her quest to have a positive impact on the health of others, Katherine wanted to move matcha, still relatively niche at that time, into the mainstream. In 2018 and with this in mind, she developed a range of ready-to-drink Iced Matcha products. The products, packed in a plastic bottle, had a unique dosing chamber where the matcha was stored separately to maintain freshness and a twist-cap mechanism that allowed consumers to mix the matcha with the water just before consuming. If the matcha had been premixed, it would have oxidised and degraded its precious nutrients.
The innovative product gained significant interest from consumers and trade customers alike, but a key challenge was the packaging. The original bottle and cap were plastic, 100% recyclable plastic but nonetheless, it was intended as a trial pack until we found a more sustainable packaging option. Unfortunately, however, a more sustainable option was not possible with the financial resources OMGTea, as a small business, had or for our projected volumes. After two years of researching alternative options, including bottles made from sugar cane, development of a bespoke cap, etc., we took the hard decision to discontinue the product at the beginning of 2021. The use of single use plastic doesn’t align with the values of the business and isn’t what we thought our consumers would want to see from OMGTea.
Recognising that there was still a need for a convenient out-of-home solution, OMGTea instead decided to focus on our Single Serve Sachet format, which originally launched in 2020. Packed in individual servings of one gram of matcha, it provides ease of use for new matcha consumers and convenience for those who want to be able to take their matcha with them to the gym, on holiday, etc. We believe that this product allows us to balance consumer needs with our brand values and sustainability objectives, and in March 2021 we relaunched the product in a smaller and lighter pack to significantly reduce the amount of cardboard used.
OMGTea’s desire to validate health claims regarding matcha is something we hope will have a positive impact on the sector overall. We have already been involved in three key pieces of research in relation to the impact of quality matcha on fat oxidation and its’ effect on breast cancer stem cells. The findings have the potential to improve people’s health and well-being on a global scale.
To date, we have participated in:
- Clinical studies (see 1 & 2) in relation to fat oxidation to show how OMGTea enhances healthy weight loss -Chichester University and Acadia University.
- Scientific studies with breast cancer to highlight OMGTea potential effects on breast cancer stem cells - Salford University.
The Healthy Life Foundation
OMGTea supports The Healthy Life Foundation, a charity that funds research into age-related disease. The charity was founded by OMGTea founder Katherine Swift and has already raised more than £500k and supported 2 key pieces of research that have the potential to improve quality of life globally. You can find more information on the HLF website.
Our People and Culture
We're a small team but we are proud to have created a work environment that is inclusive, supportive, and fun.
Supporting good physical and mental health is at the core of OMGTea’s values and to support employees, the company offers flexible working and a monthly matcha allowance.