The Ethical Tea Partnership is pleased to announce the appointment of Gracious Mnjengezulu as Country Manager for Malawi. Gracious is jointly employed by the ETP, Rainforest Alliance and Utz, and will be responsible for helping both smallholder tea farmers and estates improve their performance against international social and environmental standards.
As part of the role Gracious will also be responsible for coordinating all of the ETP’s producer support and strategic sustainability projects. This includes implementing good practice farming practices with the aim of improving tea production and increasing resilience to climate change in the Malawi tea sector.
Since graduating from the University of Malawi with a degree in Irrigation Engineering , Gracious has worked for a number of local and international non-governmental organisations. Most recently he worked for Concern Universal Malawi as an Agriculture Coordinator on a USAID funded project working extensively with smallholder tea farmers, tea estates, and the Tea Research Foundation of Central Africa (TRFCA). As part of his role Gracious coordinated a tea bush nursery project that supplied smallholder farmers with tea bush seedlings. He was also responsible for training farmers on soil and water resource management, and tea bush management and sustainable production.
Of his joint appointment Gracious says, “I am looking forward to working with all three organisations utilising my previous experience of working with smallholder farmers and their support structures to make changes to tea production in Malawi. With the support of the ETP Africa team and partner organisations I hope to bring about tangible improvements that make Malawi tea more attractive to Western buyers and markets, therefore making a real differences to smallholder farmers and those that rely on tea for a living.”