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).

Projects

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.

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…

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

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 Smallholder Tea Farmers 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 Wages Committee Report 2017 (by Richard and Martha Anker)

15 December 2017

Malawi Tea 2020 Wages Committee Report 2017 (by Richard and Martha Anker) This Wages Committee Progress Report updates the living wage to October 2017. It also indicates the gap…

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

8 November 2017

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