When can drinking a delicious cup of organic tea help to resolve some of the global problems with child poverty? Founder and owner of Charity Tea™, Gill Bredl, shares her story on why she set-up New Zealand’s only charitable tea company and how our customers are helping to beat child hunger with each and every purchase of their favourite beverage.

Where did Charity Tea™ begin?

It was in late 2016 that Gill, a received an call for help from a friend in Haiti who was an aid worker.

Gill shares, “My friend told me there was an abandoned baby in a local hospital in Les Cayes, Haiti, and she was dying from starvation.

“Being a mum myself, I just couldn’t turn the other way and assume that someone else would do something.

“Instead, I made this problem my own. I figured that feeding this one child would be feasible for me financially, so I sent money over – enough for this little girl to be fed for a whole year.”

Haiti devastated by Hurricane Matthew

Just 10 days after Gill’s donation to this little girl, Haiti was ravaged by the catastrophic storm Hurricane Matthew.

Hundreds of people were left homeless. And as the hurricane followed the major earthquake and droughts over previous years, this new national disaster means that Haiti communities were finding it even more difficult to get back on their feet.

“Helping that one little girl who was alone in hospital quickly grew into something much bigger,” says Gill.

Children in Haiti

Gill received the call to help starving children in Haiti

“I realised after Hurricane Matthew I was emotionally and morally invested in making a much bigger impact for the children in this community.”

As a mother of three and a social worker for 12 years, Gill was shocked by some of the ‘band aid’ approaches to supporting children.

“In Haiti, if a parent is unable to feed their children, the only option they have is to give their child away to big charities who can.

“By feeding children in Haiti, we’re not just filling hungry tummies. We’re keeping families together. And we’re keeping communities together.

“In terms of attachment theory, keeping families together is going to build stronger communities.”


Charity Ten18 International was set-up

Gill started fundraising for children in Haiti, initially through her friends and family.

She established Ten18 International to provide the structure around raising money and getting it directly to the children in need.

“We worked with trusted people on the ground who were enablers in getting food to the children who needed it most,” explains Gill.

“We helped so many children over the months that followed.

“But I was always conscious that we couldn’t keep on asking people for money. We needed to raise funds in a more sustainable way so that we could ensure the money would continue to flow.”

Gill with children in Haiti

Gill visited Haiti to see how funds were keeping families together and supporting communitie


From a love of tea came Charity Tea™

Inspired by a love of tea, Gill started investigating ideas to sell organic loose-leaf tea to raise the much-needed funds for children in Haiti.

Following many tea sampling parties in her hometown in Stanmore Bay, Gill launched a range of premium loose-tea flavours. Charity Tea was born in 2018.

Pouring a cup of organic tea

Ethically sourced tea

All of our tea at Charity Tea is either Certified Organic or organically grown.

Ethically sourced and packaged by Gill and her team, the premium tea is sold online, and at selected cafes and shops across New Zealand.

“Most of our tea is organically grown here in New Zealand,” shares Gill.

Passionate about social justice and ethical trade, she wanted to ensure that each of her teas provided fair wages to communities.

“For those tea leaves that have to be sourced overseas, I find brokers who have solid relationships with their tea growers and pay fair wages.”

Charity Tea premium organic loose tea

Organic tea in the Charity Tea Signature range. All packaging is reusable and recyclable

Responsible packaging

Zero waste was another essential ‘must-have’ for Gill’s vision of Charity Tea.

“We’re so proud that our packaging is plastic free. And this includes every single one of our tea bags.

“Wherever possible, we use fully certified compostable bags. Our smaller refills are made of recycled paper.

“All of our Signature tins are refillable and recyclable.”

Premium organic teabags introduced

Gill intially chose to sell only loose tea as she was growing increasingly concerned about chemical-laden teabags.

Over time, she managed to package organic teabags in bags free from plastics and toxins for those customers who preferred them.


Feeding children in New Zealand

Although Charity Tea™ started out purely raising money for children in Haiti, Gill was shook by a New Zealand news report revealing that children in her home country were going to school without lunches.

“I decided that we also needed to help children here too.

“There is a major problem here on our doorstep and families are struggling. I recently attended a meeting around zero hunger in New Zealand. It’s clear that our country’s current strategy is not working and something needs to change.

“It’s my mission that every child in New Zealand will go to school with a packed lunch and be able to access education without being distracted by hunger.

“Every container of tea we sell today provides either a meal for a child in Haiti (through our feeding programmes) or a school lunch for a child in New Zealand.”


Equal opportunities for our employees

Another way Charity Tea™ supports Kiwi locals is by being an equal opportunities employer.

“We partner with New Zealand’s Ministry of Social Development and offer exciting opportunities to people in the community who are normally disadvantaged.

“Our much-valued team of staff help to manage managing our organic tea shop and distribute teas direct to customers and our retail and hospitality wholesale clients.”


Want to find out more about Charity Tea? Meet Gill in this video who shares her story in about setting up NZ’s favourite charitable tea company.


Are you a business looking for ethical suppliers?

We’re looking for New Zealand businesses to choose social enterprise initiatives for their supply chain by stocking our organic teas. Retailers, cafes and restaurants can also sell our range of premium teas to their customers.

“Businesses can make a difference by adding social enterprise to their supply chain, and without spending further money,” Gill explains.

“For example, if a business decided to add Charity Tea to their staff room and ordered 1kg of tea per month we could provide up to 5 meals for hungry children.”

Get in touch if you’d like to open up a wholesale account with Charity Tea, or to find out more.