Raising Standards

As with all work environments, it’s important that tea estates and processing factories conform to good social and environmental standards. Without them, workers can be subjected to unsafe working conditions, unfair human resource practices (e.g. hiring, job allocation, career opportunities, grievance procedures etc.), and the environment can be susceptible to degradation, e.g. water and soil pollution.

How we’re helping

At ETP, we help tea producers and smallholder farmers meet international social and environmental standards. Our work makes tea estates and processing factories better and safer for the people that grow and produce tea.

Auditing and Certification

We work alongside standards and certification organisations operating in the tea sector such as Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, Utz, and trustea, and have agreements in place with them to ensure that we do not duplicate their work. Where requested, our local teams work directly with producers to help them meet these standards. On sites that supply our members, but are not certified to Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade or Utz, we will organise an independent third party audit against the ETP Global Standard.

While auditing and certification are useful tools, to deal with the underlying issues holding back the sustainability of the tea sector they need to be coupled with longer-term social and environmental impact programmes such as our partnership with UNICEF in Assam and the integrated economic, social, and environmental sector-wide approach in Malawi. This helps to ensure that not only are we aiming to drive up standards, but we are also tackling the root causes to achieve the best results for tea workers, farmers, and their communities.


Malawi Tea 2020

We’re leading a coalition to help create a more competitive Malawian tea industry in which workers earn a living wage and smallholders are thriving.

Embedding Good Practice (India)

We helped Indian producers improve in two key areas – healthy and safety and environmental management.

Human Resource Management (China)

We helped Chinese producers improve human resource management practices by providing them with free training.

Social Issues Training

We’re tackling harassment and discrimination, and promoting equal rights for women/minority groups at tea processing factories.

Raising Factory Safety (China)

In China our factory health and safety training helped make tea processing factories better and safer places to work.

Occupational Health & Safety (Sri Lanka)

We developed an occupational health and safety (OHS) training course specifically for the Sri Lankan tea industry.

Agrochemical Management

We train tea workers and farmers to use agrochemicals safely in order to minimise risk to themselves, others, and the environment.

Delivering Long Term Change

Our monitoring programme helps producers meet international social and environmental standards.

Improving Tea Communities (Sri Lanka)

We worked with CARE to improve living and working conditions on tea estates in Sri Lanka.

Raising Standards: Latest News

Working Collaboratively to Improve the Sustainability of the Tea Sector

8 September 2016

Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) is a membership organisation of more than 40 international tea companies and retailers. We exist to improve the sustainability of the tea sector, the lives…

Posted in: Raising Standards, For Business, Tea Workers, Smallholder Tea Farmers, Climate & Environment, Membership Pages, Key Areas, Blog, What's New

Health and Safety Continues to Improve in Sri Lanka

12 September 2014

I was privileged to be invited by NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) to give a lecture on Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) Standards required for Planation…

Posted in: Raising Standards, Climate Change Adaptation, Key Areas, Occupational Health & Safety (Sri Lanka), Blog, What's New, Projects, Sri Lanka

Kenya Study Tour Part 2: Seeing is Believing!

4 September 2013

I am here in the salubrious climate of Kericho, Kenya along with a team of 19 other Sri Lankans consisting of Producers, CEO’s, Trade Unionists, and NGO’s all connected with…

Posted in: Raising Standards, Tea Workers, Smallholder Tea Farmers, Climate & Environment, Kenya, Blog, What's New, Country, Sri Lanka

Latest Raising Standards Resources

Supporting Change in Assam

9 January 2019

Find out how ETP’s work with expert partners is contributing to change in Assam and improving conditions for tea workers, farmers, communities, and the environment in which tea is…

Malawi Tea 2020 Revitalisation Programme (Second Progress Report 2016–2017)

8 November 2017

Malawi Tea 2020 Revitalisation Programme (Second Progress Report 2016–2017)

APM 2017 Part 1: Opening Agenda

APM 2017 Part 1: Opening Agenda