The best quality teas around the world are all harvested by hand to guarantee that the leaf is whole, undamaged, and that only the top two leaves and a bud are picked. On every quality tea estate there are hundreds or even thousands of tea harvesters, known as plucker.
The typical day at a Fair Trade estate in India starts with the morning whistle signifying that the workday will start in 30 minutes. All the plucker gather at the location where they know the harvesting will start that day. They carry large wicker baskets that strap across their foreheads with the baskets hanging down their backs. In the Darjeeling area, the women often carry umbrellas for protection against the rain and intense sun.