On 25 & 26th March the second sustainable tea seminar was held in Songyang. This was the second annual conference organised by the China Tea Marketing Association and Solidaridad and ETP were delighted to once again be given a prominent slot in which to discuss progress on key sustainability issues.
Building on last year’s presentation Liz Smedley (China Advisor, ETP) described the ETP programme in China, while Hubert Chen (Regional Manager) provided an in-depth overview of two projects aimed at improving the health and well-being of tea workers:
- Improving factory health and safety
- Safe use of agrochemicals
We were delighted that our partner in the Safe Use of Agrochemicals project, Mr Xiao Qiang from the Tea Research Institute (TRI), joined us on stage to describe his organisations involvement. Mr Qiang emphasised the importance of improving the way agrochemical are handled and stored and described the work that ETP and TRI staff have been doing with farmers. The response from the audience was overwhelmingly positive showing the need for further work in this area.
Other issues highlighted at the event were the launch of the Chinese National Guidelines on Sustainable Tea and how the experience of implementing the Chinese Government’s 2008 Labour Contract Law for large businesses may help smaller companies meet labour provisions in international standards.