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Meanwhile in Longsheng...A Complete Journal of Viori's times spent among the Red Yao Community

June 22, 2021: Interviews and workshop

We've gotten quite some new questions from customers who are interested in our social projects and the Red Yao culture. This trip we made another round of local Q&A's to get some answers to these questions.

We also hosted a workshop for the embroidery program. Specifically, we made sure the Aunties were well equipped in their participation in the embroidery program by going over the logistical details and making sure name tags were attached in similar ways. 

To learn more about the background story on this Beautiful Reason Initiative please read here!




June 13, 2021: Tea plantations visit

The purpose of this visit was to learn more about Longsheng's unique wild tea plantations.

In order to support Longsheng tea farmers in creating their own Tea brand (this years BRI program), it's important the foundations are in place. This means preserving the soil and tea trees that make Longsheng tea so unique.

During this trip we visited several tea 'plantations' and discussed with locals what it would take to secure their preservation for years to come. We're excited to have found several ancient plantations from where this years project will start. Stay tuned for more on this BRI!

 


May 25, 2021: Seedlings are growing

Before the mountains turn into endless fields of green, lush rice terraces the rice seedlings need to be grown in a protected area with the perfect circumstances and under daily supervision.

To increase our understanding of rice cultivation we decided to make a visit and capture this important step of the process.


May 2, 2021: BRI Kickoff

The BRI All-Natural Rice Project is now underway, so we visited to learn how things were going and see where the rice farmers needed support.

All natural rice project is under way.

 

Our natural farming expert sat down with the growers to share ideas and answer questions. It was a productive meeting.

And we should note-- it was exciting and encouraging to see how far word has spread about this initiative-- many more farmers are now interested in joining the project!  

Rice season has begun!

 

We're looking forward to expanding the program and working with more farmers in the near future. 

To follow this specific Beautiful Reason Project, click here!

 


 

April 23, 2021: Ornaments Project + Rice Season Has Started!

Our team is back in Longsheng again. As you might have read, we learned a lot about Yao embroidery during a previous visit. 

Red Yao embroidery

 

Well, after receiving a lot of positive feedback about the Yao handmade ornaments we've been sending to our loyal customers (thank you!), we decided to turn this experiment into a full-fledged Beautiful Reason Initiative! 

To follow this specific Beautiful Reason Project, click here!

What else is going on in Longsheng? 

The new rice season has started!

And that means-- our first Beautiful Reason Project (All-natural Rice Project) has kicked off.  If you missed what/why/how of this first BRI project of the year, you can get all the details here!

All natural rice project has started!

 

In short, our first BRI project focuses on partnering with farmers who have agreed to use only natural growing methods. That means the rice they grow is entirely free from any pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

And we've guaranteed to purchase what they grow at a 100% markup.

 

To further support the success of this initiative, the Yao farmers recently sat down with a natural farming expert to share ideas and ask questions. 

This BRI initiative aims to empower farmers to earn a comfortable living while responsibly working the land and preserving it for generations to come. We're so excited for this project to take shape and can't wait to update you on our progress soon! 

To follow this specific Beautiful Reason Project, click here!

And something else happened on this visit that was a little different for us...

We were humbled and honored to be invited to attend a local funeral. As sad as it is to lose someone, experiencing the warmth and intention with which the Red Yao approached such an occasion was very inspiring and something we won’t soon forget. Perhaps we’ll write a more detailed account of the experience in the future.

 


 

April 4, 2021: A Trek Across Longsheng Inspires New BRI Project

We were fortunate to have Tea Master, Mr. Chen, accompany us during this trip to Longsheng.

Mr. Chen is a Taoist Tea Master who has dedicated his life to growing all-natural tea and educating local tea farmers about the health, environmental, and financial (!) benefits of growing tea without using chemicals.


To fully understand the current state of the Longsheng teas, we accompanied Mr. Chen for an exploratory tour across the whole Longsheng region. 

Along the way, we visited hidden, wild tea plantations, talked to several tea farmers; and even worked deep into the night to create several batches of Longsheng 'wild' tea. 


*** We've returned from our most recent trip to Longsheng with inspiration for our next Beautiful Reason Initiative: Longsheng All-Natural Tea project. ***

The trip left Mr. Chen (and us!) in awe. He has been all across the country and has visited countless tea plantations, including others with 'wild' tea trees like those found in Longsheng. 

Nevertheless, his experience in Longsheng was unique-- he had never seen anything like this before. The history of the tea trees (some hundreds of years old) and the pristine environment in which they grew made him realize that this was a special place that must be preserved. 

This eye-opening trip planted the seeds for our next Beautiful Reason Initiative. Stay tuned to learn more!

And this week also brought new lessons...

We are always learning, and this week brought new lessons about engaging in Social Responsibility work in China. We'll be writing more about the challenges and opportunities we face while doing this type of work in the near future. Stay tuned!

 


 

March 5, 2021: Introducing the Longsheng All-Natural Rice Project 

During this trip, we revisited some ideas discussed during our previous trips and in several of our CSR meetings.

A productive meeting.

 

We knew we wanted to double down on our commitment to supporting the rice farmers of Longsheng-- as they form such a crucial part in the healthy development of the whole region. 

So, together, we came up with a plan to help them improve their income from rice cultivation while at the same time preserving the health of the ecosystem by promoting all-natural farming practices. 

This quickly turned into our first Beautiful Reason Initiative: Longsheng All-Natural Rice Project 

Read about it here! 

Throughout this process, we’ve learned a lot...

Working with the community to develop our first project for our Beautiful Reasons Initiative has helped us clearly define our role and responsibility when engaging in CSR work. Learn about our approach and how we evaluate projects here.

And on our next visit, we’ve got something special planned...

One of our longest and dearest friendships in the village is with Mr. Pan. As it's nearly tea season, we spent some time talking with Mr. Pan about the challenges local tea farmers face while growing and selling tea. 

We soon realized this might be a good fit for a new Beautiful Reason Initiative. To help evaluate the current situation and identify opportunities, we've decided to return with a tea master who can provide valuable insight. Stay tuned!

 


 

March 1, 2021

Viori is thrilled to be back in Longsheng!

Our last trip left us inspired to dig deeper in the beautiful culture of Yao embroidery, especially since preserving the Yao culture is one of our top priorities.

The depth of this tradition was far beyond what we could have imagined. We’ve written all about it here. Enjoy! 

 


 

February 17, 2021: First Time Back 

This was our first trip back to Longsheng since the start of COVID and travel challenges/restrictions. 

We've stayed in touch with local families throughout the year, but not having our team be on the ground in Longsheng felt unnatural, to say the least.

Especially while our company was rapidly evolving to adjust to the circumstances. 

So, this trip meant a lot to us...

And it was amazing. We are so grateful to have reconnected with our Longsheng friends in person and reaffirm our commitment to supporting their culture. 

We're also grateful for the stories and the laughs. We always have a great time on our visits.

This was such a unique trip that we wrote a separate article about it called 'Coming Home.' Read it here.


 

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Comments


Viori Customer Support Team
Jul 12, 2021

Hi Genie! Of course! We will reach out to you directly 😊

Genie Schultz
Jul 12, 2021

I wold love more information on this project..

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