Burundi is a country which produces quality tea but where there is little experience of meeting international standards. ETP has often found that producer to producer learning can be one of the most effective ways of demystifying the requirements of international standards and building commitment to take the very practical steps required. ETP therefore organised a trip for key Burundian tea personnel to Kenya, where there is long-standing experience of working with ETP and achieving certification.
The managers spent time with both large estates and smallholders who have met international standards as well as representatives of Tea Board and Rainforest Alliance. They came away with a much clearer sense of what is entailed, as well as the costs and benefits.
“Office du The du Burundi is happy and excited by the learning visit done last week. We have seen, learnt and appreciated the requirements for certification from a hands on experience. We have already identified the critical criteria that can stop our certification at the moment. We will work to close them with the help of ETP. Thanks to ETP’ s assistance” Alexis NZOHABONIMANA, Office du The du Burundi, Managing Director.
For ETP’s Regional Manager for Africa, Joseph Wagurah, it was heartening to see the positive learning that took place. “At ETP we are excited to see Burundi tea growers embrace the changes required, from improving agricultural practices, to good management of social issues. We look forward to continuing to work with the Burundian producers to help them make the required changes and ensure that our members have the assurance that they need in terms of standards in the Burundian tea sector.”