Please Review the certifications of our various tea and tea ware products below. They represent our commitment to bring you the finest, healthiest tea products. We use a single Japanese Producer (Ito En) for the vast majority most of our Japanese green tea and a US/Canadian Based producer for all teas outside Japan (Metro Tea) and some Japanese teas.
(Gold standard on each annual re-certification since 2005)
Ministry of Health and Welfare Food Sanitation Division. Food safety is a particularly delicate issue in Japan, which imports 60 percent of its food supply. How strict and good are Japanese food safety practices? Citing the Food and Drug Administration, the US House of reprersentatives report described Japan’s model as the most realistic one for protecting American consumers. “The Japanese system of regulating Chinese food imports appears to offer better control than that currently used by F.D.A.,” it concluded.
READ ABOUT OUR CURRENT POLICY WITH JAPANESE TEA POST-FUKUSHIMA AND OUR VENDOR'S GUARANTEE.
It is audited annually to ensure all processes and documentation is maintained. Products are produced on tea gardens that conform to the lowest MRL (minimum residue levels) for approved agricultural inputs for tea. Our producer assists our major producers in compiling MRL's from North America, Europe, UK and Australia which are then used by food scientists at Cambridge University to construct matrices identifying the lowest MRL's combined with the least harm to the environment.
• USFDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)
• CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)
• EFSA (European Food Standards Authority)
USFDA must approve the importation of all tea products before they are allowed into the US. Tests are conducted for any and all contaminants by recognized agencies at levels higher than Health Canada and the USFDA require. Every lot of tea and herbs received and packed in warehouse is tasted and tested a minimum of 5 times to ensure all tea is free from contaminants from non-tea input.
For tea ware our producer uses 18/8 grade stainless steel exclusively in all metal products – infusers, strainers, teapots, etc. This grade has been approved safe by the agencies above.
Tea Association of the USA - As a member of the Tea Association of the USA since 1991, Metropolitan Tea is committed to furthering the interests of tea retailers and the tea industry in general both in the US and abroad.
Tea Association of Canada - Metropolitan Tea is an active member of the Tea Association of Canada since 1991. TAC works toward strengthening and supporting the Canadian and global tea industry.
share responsibility for the social and ethical conditions involved in sourcing the tea they buy. ETP's monitoring program is thorough and credible. Monitoring is carried out on a rolling basis, with a full monitoring visit carried out on an estate every four years. Pricewaterhouse Coopers have been ETP's monitors since 2002.
ETP monitors against six areas: Employment (including minimum age and wage levels), Education, Maternity, Health and Safety, Housing and Basic Rights checking compliance with local laws and union agreements and some international standards.
The Following Areas are Monitored:
- Employment is freely chosen
- Freedom of association and collective bargaining rights are respected
- Working conditions are safe and hygienic
- Child labour shall not be used
- Total remuneration packages are negotiated between unions and employers
- Agreements in place regarding working hours
- No discrimination is practiced
- No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed
There are three stages of monitoring:
Tea Research - Our Japanese producer conducts a wide variety of research to maintain and improve production and product quality. It strives to improve processing raw materials and blended ingredients.
Its Central Research Institute concentrates on medium- to long-term activities involving utilization of the active ingredients of tea leaves and developing a variety of new technologies to ensure the safety of food products.
2. The product development division
The product development division handles short-term R&D utilizing production and agricultural technologies to develop new products and improve existing ones. R&D activities have long focused on the functions of primary compounds found in green tea. The producer formed alliances with research institutes both doestically and overseas. These include a project on the anti-senility properties of tannin with the Neurology Department of Tokyo University, and an investigation of ways to counter the toxicity of dioxins in a joint effort with Kobe University. Overseas, our producer extends support for clinical testing conducted at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, a leader in cancer research in the U.S., on the possible cancer-prevention properties of catechin found in green tea.
3. High Antioxidant Testing
The producer of our non-japanese teas tests for antioxidant content at the Univeristy of Toronto.