Improving Tea Communities (Sri Lanka)

In Sri Lanka, about 5% of the population is employed by the tea industry, with thousands of people working and living on tea estates. The sector remains hierarchical and relationships between workers and management can be strained – especially during wage negotiations.

How ETP helped

Our partnership with CARE International helped improve living and working conditions on 13 tea estates in Sri Lanka through the implementation of Community Development Forums (CDFs). Building on CARE’s tried and tested approach, CDFs are like ‘mini parliaments’ that bring together workers, management, trade union officials, and community/estate residents to discuss working and living conditions on tea estates.

Key outcomes

  • Reformed worker-management relationships
  • Reduced domestic violence and alcoholism
  • Improved opportunities for women, including better control of household finances, leadership roles in communities, and better career opportunities
  • 25% improvement in workforce productivity and better estate services, e.g. crèches
  • 90% of workers felt economic and social opportunities had improved

Latest from our Blog

Tea Estates See Bumper Returns After Investing in Worker Empowerment

2 October 2013

About the project: The Plantation Community Empowerment Project was carried out from 2008 to 2011 with funding from the European Union and in collaboration with the Ethical Tea Partnership. …

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Latest Resources

Case Study: Helping at the Heart of Tea Communities (Sri Lanka)

1 February 2012

Case Study: Helping at the Heart of Tea Communities (Sri Lanka) An overview of the positive developments that Community Development Forums (CDFs) have made on 13 ETP monitored estates.