Environmental Benefits of Organic Spices, Herbs, and Teas
The beneficial impacts organic farming has on the environment is supported by a vast and growing body of evidence that translates to spice, herb and tea production systems. A major driver of the advantages seen in organic cropping systems comes from the elimination of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The bulk of available studies taken from tea production illustrates the benefits of organic in these systems on biodiversity, soil health, the reduction of heavy metals and climate change mitigation.
- Organic tea plantations sequester more carbon.
- Improving the storage of soil organic carbon not only helps mitigate climate change, it helps local farmers better cope with the impacts of extreme weather.
- Research at the Rodale Institute shows that organic farming offers climate resilience, where yields have been found to be 40% higher than conventional in years of drought and extreme weather.
- Organic farming builds soil health and reduces heavy metal contamination of crops.
- Organic soil has 13% higher total soil organic matter, 44% more stable sequestered carbon, and up to 60% higher soil stability than conventional soil.
- In samples taken from tea orchards under long-term management with organic fertilizers, the diversity of beneficial microbes increased by 29%, 110%, 41% and 557%.
- Studies show that organic farming generally increases biodiversity by 30% with various impacts across types of organisms.
- Populations of beneficial insects that offer services to improve crops yield like pollinators, natural enemies to pests and even decomposers are all increased by organic production.
- A recent study examined tea orchards under different management regimes to quantify impacts on the diversity of soil organisms and found that the tea orchards managed using organic practices were the most suitable for tea cultivation, promoted the greatest biodiversity, nutrient and soil health conditions and exhibited less interference in the overall soil fauna food web.