Friday - May 1, 2020 - May Day Look at Tea Labor


Hello Internets Happy Friday May 1st happy May Day

I hope you guys are all having a wonderful week and looking forward to a beautiful weekend with your family or with yourself. I hope you have a lot of
nice plans good weather hopefully here in Vegas it's already getting quite hot
but can't complain gotta be grateful for the sunshine and all the other wonderful
things that come along with it.

So today is May Day I'm not so familiar with May Day you know here in the States we don't we don't celebrate May Day but I did a little bit of research and decided that I want to talk about May Day today and what it means and celebrated in our own sense here in the live stream so yeah

May Day is a pretty long-standing and spring festival celebrated and many
European communities so that's why you know it's not really an American holiday
but the holiday itself is related you know started out as like a spring festival like many of the spring festivals that we see throughout the world but now it has come to represent the celebration of Labor and the acknowledgement of Labor and the rights of people engaged with labor

so that's what I'm going to talk about today because that is very common in the tea world you know we sit and drink tea and enjoy it and there actually is a great deal of labor that goes into making tea not only you know importing and packing and selling that tea blending and you know all the other labor that happens on this side that we're quite accustomed with but the labor of actually growing and making the tea and the the type of labor I want to talk about is in kind of the mass labor you know labor can be something you know really kind of singular and intimate you know you're just labor for for yourself and for the things that you
produce for yourself that is a legitimate form of labor but I think in
the context of in a day and what is elevated now this is like labor and business labor and the mass production of goods which T is you know really kind of one of our most laborious products in the world so yeah we talk about labor if you guys have any questions in regards to the labor of tea please feel free to ask away in the in the text in the comments and I will be more than happy to try to answer whatever you have I know a lot of people have questions usually revolving around like direct trade you know cuz that is not direct trade I'm sorry fair trade that's the right term because it's a certification that does it's branding and what it encompasses in that brand and the trust that's been built around that brand a
lot of times is associated with labor you know the the fair payment to the farmer which you know the farmer is the one doing the labor and 

I'll talk a little bit about that I'm sure you have questions on that but first I'll get drinking my tea I'll get going on making my teeth my very simple labor here of just making tea there's much more labor involved with recording and broadcasting these live streams than there is in my making of the tea so I guess that can be celebrated too to some degree yeah here we go industry updates I guess I had it up the whole time

 in in in regards to the static like the status currently with labor there is an issue just like there's an issue here with unemployment filing and on a good note on a positive note here stateside the payroll protection loans that you know we're part of the carrots act in response to supporting the community and this time of difficulty of shut down many businesses are starting to see those funds come in so that is good news so if you are a tea professional or even you know tea
service professional and the company that you work for has had to close down
lay off employees the good news is is that a lot of those funds that were released for supporting small business are starting to be seen by those small businesses so you may be hired again you know so that these these uh these loans what's really incredible about that whole system is that the loans will be forgiven
meaning the business doesn't have to pay them back if the business can show that they kept employed the same amount of people prior to the shutdown
so it is in their best interest there are incredibly best interests to hire their employees back even if those employees can't work like there's no business to run if that business proves to the bank through to the the lender that they employed that those funds were actually used for payroll they don't have to pay it back so yeah that's good news the kind of interesting counter to this that says a lot about the status of labor here in the in the states and this is more associated with more like service industry type labor workers is that in some cases those workers are making more money on unemployment than they were through their paychecks through the company through their job prior to the shutdown you know which which is gonna be difficult for businesses to attract their employees back if their employees are making more money through an employment than they they were they're working so that's kind of a no an issue a no-brainer for the employee of course we want to make sure that people have you know our variable taken care of and have things that they need but it does say a lot about the status of our service industry and that that whole category of business that you know it is a necessity restaurants and cafes they are total necessities and in our world but they're also very challenging category of business from the business owners perspective for them to hire employees and and treat them with the dignity and respect and the distribution of the value that's created from those types of businesses is a little off if unemployment is going to
be paying those workers more favorably than then the business itself you know and this is not a direct job at those business owners I know that they're dealing with their own challenges in marketing and and all the other costs associated with running a business that oftentimes the labor ends up being the category of expenses you know how sad is that that we consider people to be like a category of expenses hi Gabby good to see you I'm good I'm just about to enjoy some white tea from Nepal beautiful white teeth made with a lot of artisanal labor and talking about labor today because today is May Day and although it started out as a Spring Festival it now is a holiday in certain communities that acknowledges the status and situation of individuals engaged in labor so I'm gonna be talking about tea industry labor so yeah currently everybody is challenged with keeping their payroll up with keeping their employees happy and taking care of and you know in some cases the government is directly helping those people which is good that those opportunities are there unfortunately in places like India which is a very laborious source of teeth the government is not so involved in supporting those those workers and has kind of left it up to the employers of the industry so the tea plantation factories other tea businesses we've ended up to them to make sure that all of their labors are supported it's very organic so I'll be able to eat it this nice beautiful leaf set go see see that's yeah beautiful Christine a lot of Labor to keep this in such a pristine condition a lot of hard work and attention to detail and let's not forget the labor of the plant itself to produce this the protection of the of the leaves during the winter time you know that's a lot ofwork and then also the release of energy to to produce this
his shoot because this is a first flush shoot this is the very first growth that
came out after the winter and the spring of last year so this is not this year'sT this is last year's spring t it's an enormous amount of energy required by the plants to release this shoot and to grow it you know and a lot of that energy is coming from the Sun so thank you to the Sun these are all integral parts of the labor of teeth I know we're talking mostly about the human labor but I also think it's it's good to think about the whole picture and all the elements involved hello Milan yeah it's backwards I have to I should read should I should rewrite this to be backwards because that's right everything is flipped on these like selfie selfie cameras that'll be a challenge I've got all the time in the world right now so I could definitely work on that that'd be a lot of fun or what I could do is just have a mirror right there and the letter on that side so that it would show to the camera a mirror reflection of of the words go so everything that I've read so far from India what does it say oh dear I'll take it down you can't even see it so this is just directing people like it's mostly appropriate for whenever I have large group of people and in the in the tea room at the tea table it directs you where to go see the the video with all the other people speaking and whatnot but I'll take it down so that way you guys can focus on my tea circuits yeah so the media and anything that you can read about the current situation of labour in India is that the estates and the individual businesses are still responsible for paying their employees I haven't seen any direct follow-up of of what that actually means and what the status of payment actually is knowledge meant because labor you know I don't work directly with any of these large estates so it's not really applicable for the people that we work with but you know the individuals that I have spoken to are all very small operations and you know they're taking care of their own employees and their own workers because they're like a small tight-knit community for the larger estates I don't know I know like even prior to I'm drinking a white tea from Nepal you can see actually some of it came out of my Chi one can see how clean how clean the liquor is a beautiful smooth it is a lot of labour to make a tea like this to keep to keep the leaves so pristine you know because no kill rate on a white tee there's no kill green so there's no opportunity to denature the browning enzymes so but then you also don't want to like bruise or hurt the leaf because then that would instigate more oxidation which you don't
want and white tea you want to keep it
as unbruised and unoxidized as possible
before it dries enough to stop the
oxidation so you know from the
harvesting to the transporting of the
leaf to the factory there has to be a
lot of you know delicate handling of the
leaf which takes you know a lot of work
seems like a simple thing but it does
take a lot of work the least amount of
labor and the more machines you have
involved in the more like mass mass
labor involved the more likelihood there
is of the image happening to the leaf
and for the pristine character of this
of this tea to to be lost so nice tea
very soft very light sweetness to it and
that's all because of the undamaged leaf
like if there was more damage to this
leaf in oxidation there's a higher
chance of of tannins to be formed and
tannin tannins and tea give a kind of
like unpleasant bitterness to the to the
tea that wouldn't be good for you know a
delicate tea like this so you know tea
like this takes more effort it has more
value and ultimately has a higher value
in the market a higher price in the
market whether or not that value always
makes it back to the labor is the
question you know and that's the whole
origin and source of why we have
holidays like May Day to acknowledge the
yeah of course the distribution of value
throughout the throughout the value
chain sorry my phone is buzzing
somebody's trying to give me a call so
yeah I don't know the current status of
of payments making their way to the tea
farm workers in places like India hypen
good to see you yeah if anybody has
heard or if there's anybody that does
work within the tea sector and would
like to give an update from your
perspective I'd be more than happy to to
hold space for that and and hear that
and share it with with our community of
course not much key is being produced
only up until about last week the the
whole country of India was on a lockdown
so there wasn't anything being produced
but now tea factories and tea farms can
be up to 50% capacity of their labor
so for instance if they had 200 workers
in the past then they have good to see
you yeah this whole live streaming thing
is new for everybody pants oh don't
worry you're not the only one but we
need something to do right now all we
need some inspiration and some lights so
I'm sharing it yeah I'd be it just so
they're not taking much from your
grandmother's plantation so is your
grandmother's plantation at full
capacity at full production capacity
right now or has there been limitations
of how much laborers she can have out
working I don't know the specifics on
the lockdown in Sri Lanka
I just know about India
and speaking of India I now want to talk
a little bit about the state of of labor
and how India's minimum wage law works
this is always really fascinating and it
blows everybody's mind and this is only
real art regarding labor that are
employed by the tea producer there is a
lot of Labor involved in tea
specifically Indian tea that is
completely unaccounted for in any kind
of minimum-wage representation by the
government so you said that there are a
lot of limitation but there's pretty
much now full lockdown she's a very
small operation her and my uncles and a
few workers I see so they're just
working at like a lower capacity but the
market is a struggle too so the
commodity tea market over the past month
has significantly dropped about 40
percent in price so it's almost half the
price so these these your grandmother is
probably already used to getting a low
price for her tea you know anywhere
between two and five dollars a kilo and
now they're only able to get like a
dollar 20 to you know four dollars a
kilo even for the the high quality stuff
so it's kind of a dead-end situation to
produce a product that you know has such
a low market price you have a friend
that has the tea company in India and
works directly the tea farms yeah I mean
your friend probably knows all of these
things that I'm speaking about my energy
and si load today uh maybe yeah that's
interesting you point that out I didn't
go for my run yet I plan to go after I
this so maybe that accounts for my
energy level um yeah I don't know maybe
I haven't drink enough tea that's the
issue this is also the end of the week
you know so it's been a long week it's
been a very long week and I'm not
talking about the most happiest of
things today usually I don't want to be
talking about something happier but this
is uh you know last night I just google
searched made a because I'd remembered I
seen what was that when I lived in the
Caribbean actually made a was like a big
celebration the kids you know did a big
program with the schools and yeah I just
like wanted to know a little bit more
what May Day was and was really you know
shocked to learn that it is a very like
Labor focused and labor labor
acknowledging you know holiday
associated with the spring festival and
you know the first drink more tea okay
all right I'll take your orders I'm
definitely not tired I've been sleeping
really well I don't know about you guys
feel like I've been sleeping like a
charm this entire you know stay at home
order time at least eight hours and I
sometimes much much more so I'm
definitely not tired I did have a big
lunch right before I came over here so
you know maybe I'm feeling a little
armed from that I just need some teeth
you used to hate right Clerk yeah well
maybe you were right maybe you just
didn't drink good good right pour prior
to you know being introduced to friends
that can get the good stuff for you
because right pour can be done very
badly and most of it is done very badly
you know because you need a very large
processing amount and if you don't have
sanitary environment and you don't have
like artisanal craft into producing it
then yeah it can lead to some very
unpleasant characteristics you know the
most common one is kind of like a fishy
smell which is like negative for anybody
I don't think there's anybody in the
world that would be like oh I
particularly like this one because it
has some really fishy aroma to it and
not good fish you know like when you're
evaluating the quality of a fish itself
like when you're going to the store to
purchase a fish one of the main things
you want to do is smell it right and it
should have like a light fishy aroma to
it like a subtle you know more sweet
aroma than fishy aroma if it has that
like rotten fish aroma then yeah you
definitely don't want to eat that you
said it smells like a Chinese herbal
shop dried fish you know yeah that's it
the herbal part like maybe some people
could like that you know cuz there are
some aromas there but I think like the
fishy dried fish smell is something
that's that's pretty negative across the
board and that happens often with right
poor coz was right poor you're
essentially just like composting tea
you're taking like three tons of tea so
that's the first issue you have to have
at least three Tong
to make a batch so three times is a lot
of team this is finished leaf this is
not you know three tons of raw leaf
which is still a lot of tea and so that
means that you're gonna be sourcing your
tea from lots of different areas lots of
different farmers lots of different
producers even if it's a big factory
they may have a small field to
themselves but they're still gonna be
sourcing green leaf from other farms
around sometimes hundreds of farms so
you're just kind of creating a mix of
all of these different teas so you know
no accountability of craftsmanship and
you know attention to detail and and and
you know that three tons that you're
working with and then the second thing
on top of that is that you're like
instigating that three tons of tea to
create warmth to create you know a
living breathing environment you know
for that fermentation to happen which
this is like um making yogurt or beer
you know fermenting any type of food
it's the same exact concept and we all
know even you know as as fermenting
hobbyists we know that sanitation is
like number one like you're not going to
come out with the product that you want
if you aren't using a very sanitary
environment and inoculating your product
with exactly the microbes that you want
to be in there and so when you're
working in these big factories that are
processing three tons of tea at one time
with you know probably just a few
workers just a few labor is there not a
whole lot of labor is there it's hard to
keep things sanitary it's hard for those
workers to be mindful of these things
that we do when we're we're you know
four maintain some food you know and in
our kitchen ourselves so that's you know
it's just a very high-risk tea and most
of it especially the stuff that's making
its way into the States's is not good at
all so you probably were right in your
opinion of not liking right poor when
you first were introduced it but there
a handful vendors that are supplying a
good quality ripe Claire you know so
Hahn was talking about a lot of that
yesterday in our tea talks speaking of
food I'm wondering how come people don't
pair tea like peyote and other high-end
teas with food like they do with wine
you really can yeah so that's a good
like people have been doing tea pairings
you know I've been doing tea pairings
with my own classes and sessions and
have actually written about it in the
past about how to set up a good pairing
because pairings are fun they're
engaging they're highly subjective which
makes them easy as a curator of a
pairing experience all you really have
to do is figure out some subjective
perspective of making those pairings
work and there's three basic concepts of
making a pairing work parallel so that's
whenever you have you know two similar
things that work in harmony with each
other contrasts would you have two
different things that kind of create
this contrast that actually works well
and then enhancing so you know when one
kind of builds upon the other to make it
a fuller experience so those are three
very different experiences that you know
as a curator and this is the job as a
sommelier this is the job as a curator
it's just somebody that like helps
introduce that subjective perspective to
make that thing work so you said very
here that you found that we's terrible
perfectly with spicy foods like tai
southern or southern chinese yeah that
could work you could also make the
argument that it could work with sweet
students like Shanghai ease of cuisine
it all depends about how you frame that
perspective because it's subjective this
is not an object
to paying our palates and our
experiences as human beings are not you
know like scientific instruments that
can only see from one objective
calibrated view not to say that that
would be bad that'd be pretty cool if we
were all calibrated beens I mean we'd be
like cyborgs at that point but it is
what it is but we what we are is
subjective beings that have our own
perspectives so pairings are fun and
pairings happen in the hospitality
community mostly through wine you're
wine and you know whisky and even and
cocktails have become you know really
fun pairing experience and those periods
are not like set in stone those pairings
were not written in a book somewhere
that that restaurant owner had to follow
this this book to make that pairing
happen that carrying happened because
the person that wrote that menu be at
the restaurant owner of the sommelier or
you know that and be director whoever
wrote that menu and declared that
pairing just framed that perspective for
you and so your question on why we're
not seeing that with T is the same
reason why you're still being served a
tea bag and many of your fine dining
establishments tea high quality tea and
even attention to detail on tea service
has not reached hospitality just yet you
know we're working on it and you know a
lot of this work that I'm doing is all
part of that you know is is creating
that that fear of missing out that FOMO
for the hospitality community that they
are missing out on an opportunity of
creating these unique experiences for
their customers you know such as
pairings but you know for them it always
has to translate to first margin you
know for the food buying budget and the
restaurants budget and then
second it has to yield you know a
greater tip potential for the server's
so you know it works in both those ways
that's really the only way that you can
get new ideas introduced into the
hospitality industry so basically T has
to be more valued more on the menu and
not just a little bit you know it's not
a difference of tea service
you know because right now I'm fine
dining if you order tea it's maybe two
or three dollars excuse me maybe it's
only like two or three dollars on the
menu but you know even if you were to
increase that double if you were to
double that leg let's say you double
that oh that's that's good double enos
is a good increase that it only
increases it to like six dollars you
know that might work for the margin of
the business but it's definitely not
going to work for the tip for the server
because the server's tips is you know
anywhere between you know 50 and 30
percent of what's being sold so 15 to 30
percent of a 600 tea service is you know
probably still not enough of an
incentive for that server to upsell that
experience to their customers and
because that's who it's actually like at
the front line that's actually going to
be doing that hard sell that experience
to the customer it's all on the server
you know the menu you can make your own
mini look fancy as you want but it's
it's the server that has to actually say
hey would you be interested in this and
for that server to deliver that
experience so you know a price point
that I think would be more attractive
for both of those conditions would be a
twenty dollar tea service now you may
say wait wait wait twenty dollars 40s
it's not just the tea leaf that you're
going to be taking just like with all
the fine dining you're going to be
getting it as a educational experience
let me see what you said you're working
on a concept for a restaurant the food
is made in conjunction with a set of
teeth I do okay so you said that the
food menu would be set by a person
familiar with the tea and the food aka
tea master yes the your setting just
like I said whoever writes that menu and
creates that experience or that
perspective of that experience is going
to be like your sommelier and I
interpreting that that's what you met
but you say tea master here and I would
like to give my encouragement that tea
master is a title that is reserved for
somebody already and that person is
definitely not in a restaurant making a
menu that person is actually like
growing the tea and making the tea so
you know there there are other terms I
mean you could use the term tea some way
like that's it's an unregulated term
that is already being used and already
kind of understood within industry if
you want to be a bit more respectful to
the certification process of you know
some way which I think in the time will
come four-forty education that title and
that kind of international recognition
of that title is on its way this doesn't
exist yet but another term and the term
that I like to use is tea artists also
an unregulated term but it is actually
quite United understanding and
recognized across several different
high-quality tea cultures in China and
Taiwan and then now here in the state
that title is being recognized as a
person that has great expertise and t
not just in you know where t comes from
and how it's made and you know how to
identify a t but also how to brew it and
how to create unique experiences with
the teeth so yeah
you want it to be a 5-star tasting menu
yeah I think it's a great idea I don't
know if the timing is right
no so here's my forecast of where fine
dining is going in the future
which I have a lot of friends that you
know would be very sad to hear this
assessment that I have but as optimistic
of a person that I am I also a very
realistic person and I'm optimistic that
this change is not going to threaten our
food it's not going to threaten our
enjoyment a very good food I think it's
actually going to increase our
accessibility and enjoyment of really
great food including hospitality and
service but I think that restaurant
industry has just become so
oversaturated and undervalued by the
consumer that the experience to go out
and eat a meal at a restaurant has
become such a commodity that it's like
no longer special and you know I know
that brings a lot more convenience to
our life that we don't have to like
dirty up our kitchen and go the grocery
store you know do all those hasslein
things but what we're dealing with right
now and with the you know immediate
threat and we're already starting to see
it of restaurants not only temporarily
shutting down due to the pandemic but
permanently shutting down and there's
this like idea that like new
entrepreneurs are just gonna jump right
in and open these restaurants like I
don't think so it's not how it works
you know we may see some and
s-mint but I think the smartest
investment would be into utilizing those
resources in a more decentralized way
because foodservice hasn't been working
it hasn't been working for years and
just related to this issue of like
getting good tea into the restaurant is
a challenge because the server's don't
make enough of a dignified living and
the hard work that they offer to the
restaurant that it's what gets served in
the restaurant is based off of what's
gonna give tips to the server so like
that itself is like a broken system and
so I think that yeah I don't think that
these restaurants are all just gonna
like reopen with new owners and we're
gonna get back to normal
I think restaurant business is going to
continue to be challenged and
hospitality will evolve again to a point
where it is this like very high-value
experience and it's gonna cost a lot of
money gonna cost a lot of money for us
to go and eat and we're gonna enjoy that
like whatever we spend like with all
things that we spend a lot of money on
like we're very like connoisseur of like
really enjoying that thing and really
understanding that thing and so that's
how hospitality in general not just fine
dining I mean I really think it's only
gonna be you know fine dining or
extremely casual dining so extremely
casual that I think it should be Street
food you know like I really want to
advocate for a movement of really
delicious nutritious high-quality
ingredient cooking that's delivered and
a very convenient and localized way such
as street food you know right now the
government doesn't support that it's a
pain in the neck to even serve food for
the community so I mean there's
definitely gonna have to be some
legislative change to support this and
you know like I think we should be
prepared for any of these types of
changes to happen quickly because yeah
these restaurants are you know they were
struggling before like you know they is
the pandemic that's that's hitting the
restaurants like they they were working
on slim margins already before the
pandemic hit the pandemic is just really
accelerating the hemorrhaging of that
whole industry but we still need to eat
like that's the ultimate thing every
person in this world still needs to eat
so you know the value of food service is
not going anywhere so yeah that's my
prediction on it so you know you're
gonna have this like very casual
affordable accessible food such as
street food I would love to see it
manifests itself as a street food and
then the other opposite end of it you
know dining out is going to be this very
high-value experience where it will be
easier for tea to find its way there
and so yeah pan maybe your idea would
work and those it's not even fermented
yet your idea well give it time you'll
see what happens
I don't know that when I look that up k2
uh-huh that looks interesting so it's
like high-quality food in a casual
environment no it is definitely in a
strip mall so that's interesting but it
does look fancy
yeah it looks delicious on that's
beautiful so yeah I'd love to see this I
mean there are so many hospitality
professionals servers cooks even
Sommeliers bartenders there are so many
people that have with skill the ability
to offer value but for each one of those
individuals to become their own business
owner is like it's completely impossible
and so that's why we had this like
highly centralized hospitality industry
that it's not so empowering it has a
Michelin star Wow Taiwanese yeah it
looks beautiful I'll watch that video
later I love Taiwanese food actually the
Taiwanese like that's the model of
street food I think that we we could all
look towards you know like the whole
night market if you've ever been to
Taiwan or seen your friend go to Taiwan
there's always at least one visit to a
night market and if you're lucky it's
every night a visit to a night market
because there's so much incredible great
high-quality food that's being made
there and served there and very casual
champagne pines alright I will
an affordable accessible like that's
that's the deal to you know like
whenever you go to a fine dining
establishment which is pretty much one
of the only places
you can get you know really fine
ingredients and high-quality food like
all the other more affordable food
sources we have is like fast food and
that's just junk like really not quality
a lot of times what you're paying for
when you go to those places is like the
rents and the marketing and you know
whatever other high profile you know
celebrity chef or whatever you know
corporate structure is having to support
that is mostly what you're paying for
you're definitely not paying for the
service like that's your tip your tip is
paying for the service and so that you
know that's kind of a bad issue because
then if tips are threatened then your
service is threatened as a business
owner you know the service that your
employees are going to be offering is
threatened if if the tips aren't working
for them if there's not products that
are up sellable you know for that server
to make a decent living and then the
ingredients that they use like they're
going to be cutting corners on that
they're not going to be cutting corners
on their rent I mean I guess the case of
this Cato that you pointed out is
getting a more affordable rent although
I wouldn't think that the rents so cheap
but definitely more affordable to be
situated there than to be you know
Oceanside in Santa Monica or something
which is where you know typically you'd
see a restaurant that caliber you know
it's all about appearance and experience
versus you know the quality of the
ingredients and so that's why when we go
in with our teas and do pitch to a
restaurant you know I picked all kinds
of restaurants here in Vegas and I have
clients that pitch restaurants all
throughout New York in LA in San
Francisco and Seattle in Chicago they go
to all the fine dining establishments
there and meet the shaft meet the some
ways and the beverage directors and they
taste the tea together and those people
taste the difference and see that
difference but then they continue to
choose this lower-priced thing
because you know like there's so much
they're working on such small margins
and there's so so much pressure you know
that that it's hard for them to support
you know good quality products now if
it's guaranteed to sell so like an
expensive bottle of wine or expensive
bottle champagne or whiskey like that's
something that's a bit lower risk for
that business owner to invest in because
they know it will sell eventually like
there is an acknowledged value of those
types of products we're just not at that
tipping point with tea just yet but
we'll get there
number one juicy dumpling that sounds
great in San Gabriel there's a lot of
really great food in San Gabriel Asian
fare better than downtown LA Chinatown
or you know other you know fancy and you
mentioned them didn't iPhone which
actually we're supposed to get one year
and in Vegas at the Aria I believe but I
can only imagine that that's that's that
launch is a little bit delayed good
dumplings can be done really well with
really good ingredients at very low
you know dumplings are a perfect street
food type of a thing yeah so what I was
saying about like all of these like
hospitality professionals that are all
laid off than like not knowing where the
next opportunity would be like if they
had the opportunity to make dumplings
make juicy soup dumplings out of their
kitchen and sell it to like all their
neighborhood like that would just be
such a win that would be such a win but
you know there's so many things working
against someone from doing that on
cutting corners didn't - as the epitome
of it it's true like the more corporate
you're working with you know the farther
the connection between the product and
the consumer is meaning that there's
like more middlemen in that and those
mental that a lot of times are not like
even connected with the consumer that's
going to be eating enjoying that product
so like if it's the chef or even the
servers that are involved and buying the
ingredients knowing oh I know my
customer I interact with them every day
I know that they'll like this but in a
very corporate structure like those two
are never doing the vine the vine is
being done you know by this guy in an
office in New York you know that's like
never engaged with the customer on a
face-to-face so it's gonna be very easy
for that guy to cut corners and just
look at price and just say yep this will
work better so that's the issue with
centralized corporate you know
structures and that's like a big problem
in the strip here in Vegas you know they
they have the business to support really
really good quality and they have the
talent as well so the shots that are
working there the servers that are
working there all the professionals
working within these different dining
establishments are you know some of the
best in the world but the buying is like
being done by this dude that you know
they don't even know in some cases
they're never gonna meet the buyer and
they're not allowed you know they found
an ingredient they wanted to use
themselves there's like ten layers of
bureaucracy that they have to cut
through with that centralized buyer
before they can get that vendor approved
and start sourcing products so you know
that's one of the sources of problems
with why food on the strip is so
expensive but then you know so subpar
and quality
but then they don't get to go to Din Tai
Fung they don't get to take their selfie
there they don't get to post its social
media so there's value in these things I
think it's legitimate
I think it's respectable and legitimate
for a business to know that there is an
additional value that they're offering
just of the experience of being there
you know I think it says a lot about our
society that that value exists and you
know I'll do whatever I can to try to
inspire us to evolve to a higher level
of consciousness where more value is
appreciated in the actual product that
we're consuming Anthony Bourdain has
said that about Din Tai Fung
I didn't know that I would have I would
say it go as far as to say that it
tastes like crap
I've eaten twice at a did Tai Fung and
it was good it was way too expensive
like the value didn't match for you go
try how you guys doing good to see you I
hope you guys had a beautiful spring and
that you guys are staying happy there in
a song I really enjoyed that experience
visiting you guys last year drinking tea
out of the bamboo and walking around
your garden oh you said that about the
trendy places that are hounded by
tourists yeah it's not worth it for me I
probably will never go eat at Din Tai
Fung again you know of course if if I
was with somebody and they insisted and
I wouldn't be against it but yeah I'd
rather find like a more local local spot
that's more chill to go eat some
dumplings so yeah I've gotten a little
off topic of what I originally wanted to
talk about when I came on but I think
it's all
related you know like we're talking a
lot about fine dining the hospitality
industry and I am very good thank you
for asking are you guys settled up near
the farm are you guys in the than
spinning your lockdown time in the city
let me know now don't paw don't
apologize pen you know I like to take
conversation where whoever is with me
wants it to go so I'm glad that we got
to talk about that and it is related to
what I originally wanted to talk about
with labor you know I wanted to talk a
bit more about labor at origin but late
labor at the service point is also very
important and you know we're seeing
we're seeing those issues front and
center right now with with all the
layoffs and with all the business
closures of this uncertainty of you know
the skill and value of servers servers
of tea or you know even blenders and and
suppliers of tea and you know how will
the industry in the world evolve to
continue to appreciate that service in
that labor I don't have the answers to
it but I just wanted to talk about it
you know today is May Day and it's a day
to acknowledge these types of things so
yeah you baby that has ideas you're
welcome to comment or reach out let me
know what you think about that but yeah
I wanted to talk about the structure of
minimum wage and hi I don't know who you
add Risa at reset doing it by Knowles
maybe I it's too far away I can't read
but thank you thank you for the thumbs
up yeah so India has a very interesting
minimum wage system that again
we acknowledges tea farm workers that
are working for centralized production
plantations or sorry you can't read that
and so yeah I just wanted to talk a
little bit about the minimum wage there
which is broken down okay so the 1948
minimum wage act so that was shortly
after independence the minimum wage Act
was passed and then just last year in
August so you know about six months ago
there was an additional minimum wage law
that passed that made a hundred and
seventy six Indian rupees about it's
about three dollars made that like the
official minimum wage but there's a but
here each state is allowed to set their
own minimum wage which is interesting so
let's see well here we go so these
different categories of minimum wage
that are allowable are all based on
level of income the paying capacity so I
guess this is level of income of the
employer paying capacity of the employer
prices of essential commodities
productivity and then the local
conditions so those are like pretty like
variable factors that can be very
different in every place and and also
subjective - so it really does depend on
how that that local state which a lot of
times is influenced by the industry so
that's like lobbyists or you know even
maybe your cracks that are you know in
cahoots with members of industry
it could be a very subjective viewpoint
of what you would consider to be those
factors right so then in 1957 there was
the Indian labor conference which set
these new standards so the minimum wage
at least 20% of these wages it has to be
enough to cover a minimum food
requirement which is 2700 calories a day
per adult how you set the cost of that
you know seems very incredibly hard
clothing requirements 72 yards per year
per family rent according to the minimum
area provided by the government's
industrial housing scheme and then
miscellaneous expenditures fuel lighting
etc so 20 percent of the wages must be
enough to cover those things so then you
have another 80 percent that's to cover
these other things so another 25 percent
has to cover children's education
medical needs minimum recreation so
festivals and ceremonies provisions for
old age and provisions for marriage so
yeah that means that 45% of your minimum
wage is just to cover those minimal
things which means there's only a 55% of
your wage that you know is entitled to
two laborers in India so it's really
interesting you know it's very
subjective it could be you know variable
place to place and so you know and then
also the for the sector of tea there are
additional require
it's for an employer so that that would
be a plantation or a factory that
they're allowed to have a lower minimum
wage so I was trying to look for the
documents that to get the exact you know
final me look at it now the final are
the currents minimum wage for each state
which for yeah so it's like West Bengal
which is where Darjeeling is located
is to 69 yeah but that's not right
that's so funny this document has
changed t farmworkers is not here so t
farmworkers you on this document it used
to be a separate this was just saying
the minimum CS aam that's not saying t
farmworkers so psalms 208 which is
higher than that other one but i know TT
farmworkers has a special minimum wage
in all these states that's even lower
than these but they justify it by
requiring those employers to provide
additional social services to cover
these other things so to cover health
care to cover childcare to cover housing
and so that's why you see a lot of these
plantations even Fairtrade certified
plantations that have so many social
programs by pan have a good rest thanks
for tuning in today
there are so many social programs
plugged into the plantation system you
know which turns it into essentially an
indentured system indentured labor is
when you have labor that you pay but you
pay them just enough to keep them there
right so a little bit different than the
slave labor slave labor is unpaid you
know I mean own that labor that that
doesn't happen in India that as far as I
know it's not happening in any tea
producing community which is a good
thing but indentured labor is a very
extreme thing that that's happening all
over the tea world
so you know my my soapbox in regards to
indentured labor even when you are
providing that's gonna be the first
thing that the plantations tell you is
but we provide them all these great
resources we're providing these schools
that they wouldn't have access in this
type of stuff if they were just living
in the countryside themselves and that's
not necessarily true you know they may
not be exactly the way that the
plantations are providing them but with
autonomy and dignity and a fair exchange
of value people even in the most rural
parts of the world have access to to
these types of things and there's a lot
to be said about autonomy and
independence in relation to labor and I
you know strong believer of that just
like I'm a strong believer that that
charity is not the answer I don't
believe in charity I don't believe in
charity I don't support charity I do
support a lot of the messaging and
awareness and in kind of the advocacy
that goes on with charity and so you'll
see me involved in nonprofits and
charity and those types of ways but I'd
much rather put my energy in towards
empowering somebody to find their own
autonomy and independence versus handing
something out to them which you know
ultimately only makes me feel better in
the interim and doesn't you know really
empower that person to build a better
future for themselves and so yeah I
think in labor autonomy is is very
important you know that's why I'm not in
a rush to have a bunch of employees you
know I'd rather empower other people to
be their own business and to create
their own value
you and whatever I create is going to
empower that than that whole system and
so that's the whole system of
distributed entrepreneurship that I
advocate for which I have been writing
about so there will be you know
something publishing on that still
waiting on some results
you know before I publish the full white
paper but it's all related to this this
concept that independence and autonomy
you know are an important part of the
exchange of value with labor it's not
just money it's not just social services
and and all these things I think that
element of dignity is really important
you know just like with the restaurants
that we're talking about servers in a
restaurant you know empowering them with
their own dignity and their own
abilities and skills that they could
then take and create their own future
with and then and better their own
future with is you know a whole lot more
valuable than you know just money you
know especially a system where the money
is dependent on on tips versus this is
the value you added to my business and
this is how much I'm gonna pay you like
that is a very entrepreneurial and
empowering exchange that happens and
that doesn't really happen in the
restaurant business it doesn't really
happen in the service business it's like
I acknowledge that you give me value but
this is all I can afford to pay you for
that value which is in a lot of cases
minimum wage and and then you know the
burden of getting the value for that
labor comes to the consumer which is
cool you know like I don't I'm not I'm
not anti tipping you know there's some
people that are very anti tipping and
and feel like there are some demeaning
origins of the concept of tipping
but like for your entire livelihood to
be dependent upon that and for the
business that is you're actually giving
your value to to not be empowered enough
to provide that value back to you it's
just yeah I think it's a very broken
system and yeah I look forward to seeing
what evolves from this you know not to
say that there's not going to be pain
involved there's gonna be a lot of pain
there's currently a lot of pain but you
know with every down there's also you
know a great opportunity for you know
the upward swing and the progress to
happen so that's you know what I wanted
to share today and I've been going on
for over an hour now so I think I'm
gonna sign out soon but happy May Day to
all of you whatever that means for you
happy spring happy change of weather
happy productivity if you are out in
your Gardens getting your hands in the
soil and learning how to provide for
yourself I salute your efforts and your
labor to do that for yourself and
encourage you all to do that and you
know maybe not just today but definitely
today because of May Day I encourage you
to think about the labor behind
everything in your life every product
that you consume you know especially the
tea but your food and your housing and
and everything everything that's around
you and you know don't be afraid to ask
questions about about that effort and
labor needed to create those things and
what what you can better do to
acknowledge that's you know be it
through your buying dollars or through
your consuming dollars or your own work
yourself so with that I'm going to sign
up hope you guys all have a beautiful
lovely weekend and I'll see you again on
Monday Cheers

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