Smallholder Tea Farmers

It’s estimated that about 70% of global tea production is from 8 million smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia. In Kenya alone, the world’s third largest tea producer, smallholders produce more than 60% of tea.

While smallholder production is increasingly important to world tea supply, many smallholders struggle to make a decent living from tea due to a variety of reasons. These include small farms and poor/infertile land, using out-dated and unproductive farming methods, and a lack of finance to invest in input materials such as fertiliser and new tea bushes.

How we’re helping

At ETP we provide training and support that helps tea farmers improve their yields, produce better quality tea, gain access to affordable finance, and meet social and environmental criteria required by export markets. Much of this work focuses on education around good practice farming and pruning and plucking cycles. We also help smallholders adapt to the effects of climate change so they can continue to make a living from tea (also see climate change and the environment).



Improving Farmer Livelihoods (Malawi)

Between 2013 and 2015 the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) implemented a training programme with tea farmers in Malawi to improve their tea farming practices and ultimately their livelihoods. The…

Malawi 2020

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.

Indonesia smallholder

Smallholder Livelihoods (Indonesia)

We provided training and support to 3 farm cooperatives in Indonesia to help them improve their livelihoods from tea farming.

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

Promising Start to New Farmer Field Schools in Uganda

30 January 2014

While smallholder farmers play an increasingly important role in world tea production many in Uganda struggle to make a decent living from tea. Evaluations from Kenya have shown that…

Posted in: Blog, Country, Smallholder Tea Farmers, Uganda, What's New

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

Latest Smallholder Tea Farmers Resources

TEAM UP 2017 Report

21 July 2017

TEAM UP 2017 Report This year, at the first-ever TEAM UP held in Africa, we reflected on how African tea-producing nations are home to some of the tea industry’s…

China Supplier Conference Report

7 July 2017

China Supplier Conference Report The Ethical Tea Partnership China Supplier Conference held in Hangzhou, China on 6-8 April 2017, brought leaders from the Chinese tea industry together with representatives…

Supporting Change in Assam – March 2017

6 March 2017

Supporting Change in Assam – March 2017 Find out how ETP’s work with expert partners is contributing to change in Assam and improving conditions for tea workers, farmers, communities,…