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).


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

Case Study – Farmer Field Schools (09.06.14)

9 June 2014

Case Study – Farmer Field Schools (09.06.14)

Posted in: News, Smallholder Tea Farmers, Key Areas, Team Up, Kenya, What's New, Country

Latest Smallholder Tea Farmers Resources

Supporting Change in Assam (May 2018)

21 May 2018

Supporting Change in Assam (May 2018) Find out how ETP’s work with expert partners is contributing to change in Assam and improving conditions for tea workers, farmers, communities, and…

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)