Davidson’s Certified Elephant Friendly™ teas are developed with the core mission to protect the lives, water resources and habitat of Asian elephants in the tea-growing regions of North-East India.  

Asian elephants are an endangered species vital to the jungle ecosystem, maintaining balance and diversity in their habitat. As mega-herbivores, elephants feed on a large variety of plants and disperse seeds throughout the forest in their droppings. Asian elephants are endangered globally, primarily due to habitat loss and human-elephant conflict related mortalities. Despite the conversion of prime elephant habitat for human settlements and agricultural uses, elephants travel along ancient movement routes. Across Asia, this deeply engrained habit brings elephants in close contact with people, especially around large scale agricultural areas, i.e. tea gardens and their surrounding communities. Shrinking habitat in the North-East India region leaves elephants few options to avoid areas of expanding human development. Hence, these elephants use tea gardens as rest stops as they travel between foraging areas. The tea shrub "Camellia sinensis" is generally inedible by elephants, but because of the close proximity of elephants to tea-growing communities (tea garden farmers, factory workers and their families), they become highly vulnerable to human-elephant conflict. Due to a lack of access to natural forage, elephants may be driven by hunger to raid crops and enter villages seeking food, putting them in direct conflict with people. If elephants are chased and harassed by people, they may also exhibit aggressive behavior, which may in turn lead to elephant attacks on people or property or fatal deaths to humans. Additionally, a combination of poor and unsafe management practices in non-certified tea gardens puts Asian elephants at risk of injury or death from agrochemicals (primarily used in conventional tea gardens), razor and electrified fencing, low-hanging electrical lines, or deep and narrow drainage ditches to name a few.

To address this, Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) and the University of Montana have partnered to create a set of strict standards and Elephant Friendly™ certification that require tea gardens to: protect elephants, their habitat and water sources on or near the tea gardens, stop all potentially harmful practices (as mentioned above), provide employee training on ways to address elephant movement within the tea gardens and create safe passage routes for the elephants. 

Davidson’s is proud to present three of its family-owned tea gardens
Putharjhora (Dooars), Banaspaty (Assam), and Snowview (Darjeeling) — three of the first tea gardens to receive this important certification in all of India, becoming a trailblazing example to other tea gardens in the area. Through Elephant Friendly™ certification, Davidson’s has become a proud member of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), donating 10% of proceeds from sales of certified teas, and hopes our pioneering effort to bring awareness to this endangered species will inspire other companies to support this important step towards the conservation of elephants and other endangered species. We support WFEN's mission of protecting wildlife and envision a world where people and wildlife coexist and thrive. We share WFEN's belief that empowered consumers, like yourself, can change the world — one cup of Certified Elephant Friendly™ tea at a time. 



Davidson’s Certified Elephant Friendly™ teas come from three of our family-owned gardens (Putharjhora, Banaspaty, and Snowview). 

About Snowview (Darjeeling, India): 

Snowview, located in the northernmost part of the state of West Bengal, India in the foothills of the pristine Himalayan mountains, is a 1451-acre organic tea garden located in the Kalimpong region of West Bengal, India and surrounded by the Chapramari forest reserve, which borders Bhutan on one side. The river Murti runs through the tea garden, and the garden is home to elephants, peacocks, and a wide range of bird species - including endangered hornbills. The teas offered from this garden are carefully crafted in small batches from hand-plucked leaves. This tea garden holds the following certifications: Elephant Friendly™, Fair Trade, USDA Organic, Demeter Biodynamic, and is a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership.    

About Banaspaty (Assam, India): 

Banaspaty (literally meaning flora and fauna) is a world-renowned 160-acre organic tea garden producing classic black Assam teas, green teas, and specialty teas that are hand-plucked and processed in a small tea factory on the farm. This tea garden is located in the Karbi-Along Hills of upper Assam, close to the Nagaland border in the tribal heartland of northeast India. The rich, densely forested hills adjacent to the tea garden are home to a myriad of rare and endangered wildlife. The ancient movement corridors of elephants are shown on the map of the tea garden, and elephants move undisturbed on several regular routes through sections of the tea garden. The farm’s community prides itself on its efforts towards peaceful coexistence with wild elephants, and the calm acceptance of the presence of elephant herds makes this a true sanctuary. This remote tea garden is not only off the beaten path, but a world apart from other tea gardens. Banaspaty holds the following certifications: Elephant Friendly™, USDA Organic, Fair Trade, and is a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership.    

About Putharjhora (Dooars, India): 

Putharjhora, is a 1400-acre organic tea garden in the Dooars region (in the low foothills of the Darjeeling Himalayan region), West Bengal, India. South of the Himalayan peaks and north of the Brahmaputra River basin, the Dooars region is known for its tropical evergreen forests and diversity of wildlife. This tea garden produces a range of black, green, and specialty teas. The Laite and Runjhun rivers run through the tea garden, and are visited by elephant herds regularly, along with wild boar, peacocks, snakes, monkeys, and many species of birds. Putharjhora holds the following certifications: Elephant Friendly™, Fair Trade, USDA Organic, Demeter Biodynamic, and is a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership.