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Numi Organic Tea Announces Non-GMO Project Updates Standards for Verification

Numi-LogoOakland, CA (October 16, 2014) – Numi Organic Tea, known for delicious organic, non-GMO and Fair Trade Certified teas and teasans, is proud to announce the Non-GMO Project has updated its Standard for Verification to require the product’s evaluation to include immersion packaging – which includes tea bags. Up until now, only tea ingredients were required for tea companies seeking Non-GMO Project Verification. Numi was the first company to have its tea bags verified by the Non-GMO Project, by choice. All of Numi’s organic teas and teasans, which are blended with only real herbs, fruits, flowers and spices, boast the prized Non-GMO Project Verified seal on their packaging.

“As the leading provider of premium organic, Fair Trade Certified teas, it is our responsibility to weave sustainable consciousness into every decision we take as a company,” says Numi Co-Founder, CEO and Alchemist, Ahmed Rahim. “We do this through our high-quality teas, through our values-based initiatives, and our sustainable packaging. Many of the nylon, see-through tea bags used by many companies are PLA (polylactic acid), created with bio-plastic material made from genetically modified corn; others are sourced from petroleum. Numi has not followed this trend. We use packaging that is completely free of GMOs, free of petroleum, and free of non-compostable materials. We are excited that the Non-GMO Project has updated their Standard to require the verification of tea bags, and are proud to be the innovative leaders on this initiative.”

“We’re excited to be working with such dedicated brands as Numi Organic Tea,” says Megan Westgate, Executive Director of the Non-GMO Project. “The proactive work they’ve provided to ensure even their tea bags meet our rigorous Standard shows a high level of commitment to transparency and to changing the overall supply chain.”

This Standard update requires that products that are immersed in a consumable product, such as tea bags, must follow practices for GMO avoidance. Since tea bags are submerged in hot water along with tea before consumption, it is important that both the tea AND tea bags are Non-GMO Project Verified. Combining ingredient transparency and sustainability in the tea industry for more than 15 years, Numi is proud of their partnership with the Non-GMO Project. Together, the two are working to protect the health of our planet and people by eliminating the use of GMOs in consumables.

Numi’s Chief Operating Officer, Brian Durkee, reflects on the updated standard from Non-GMO Project by stating, “Unlike most other food packaging components, teabags are cooked as they steep in boiling water. Thus, teabags are essentially consumed with each sip of tea. Currently, the only use of Genetically Modified Organisms in the tea industry is found in teabag material, and GMO-sourced ’see-through’ teabags are widely used. Numi is, however, committed to sourcing only the most natural, highest quality ingredients for each of our products. Thus, we have steered clear of utilizing materials that are sourced from GMOs. Numi was the first company to voluntarily have our teabag materials Non-GMO Project Verified and we are excited that the Non-GMO Project has recently updated their standards to require the verification of all teabags moving forward.”

Since its inception in 1999, Numi has embraced sustainability in every step of the farming, production and packaging process. The founding Benefit (B) Corporation’s steadfast commitment to contribute to a healthy, thriving global community has inspired Numi to avoid certain industry trends such as diamond shaped “see-through” tea bags sourced from GMO corn or petroleum based nylon, as well as unnecessary plastic overwrap on their boxes. Numi’s tea bags are made with natural hemp-based unbleached filter-paper and are biodegradable and home compostable. Furthermore, Numi’s tea tags are made from 100% recycled material and are printed using soy-based inks.

The ugly truth on GMOs and how and why they can and should be avoided is available at www.NonGMOProject.org. Details on Numi’s entire portfolio of teas and teasans are available at NumiTea.com/products and Facebook.com/NumiTea.

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NUMI ORGANIC TEA

Founded in 1999 by brother and sister team Ahmed Rahim (the alchemist) and Reem Rahim (the artist), Numi Organic Tea is a purveyor of premium quality organic and fair trade certified teas and teasans. Numi blends its organic leaf teas in a solar-powered facility with only real herbs, fruits, flowers and spices—not unnecessary “natural” flavorings or perfumes. All Numi products are packaged in recycled-content containers and biodegradable bags and are available in retail outlets in more than 30 countries worldwide, including the U.S., Canada, the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands and online at www.NumiTea.com. An award-winning social enterprise and founding B-Corporation member, Numi supports community development projects worldwide. To learn more, visit NumiTea.com and follow Numi at Facebook.com/NumiTea and Twitter.com/NumiTea.

THE NON-GMO PROJECT

The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers and providing verified non-GMO choices. Learn more about the Non-GMO Project at www.nongmoproject.org. To get the latest non-GMO news and updates, follow the Non-GMO Project on Facebook at www.facebook/nongmoproject and on Twitter at www.twitter/nongmoproject.