ETP’s mission is to improve the lives of people in tea communities and the environment in which they live and work. Throughout our history we have pioneered new and innovative ways to achieve this.
Over 20 years ago ETP began co-ordinating independent auditing in the tea industry when there was hardly any experience of social and environmental standards in the tea sector. We have learnt much from this work. We know that audits are a useful tool and they have helped us along our journey, but they are just one component in the toolbox of approaches we need to address the fundamental issues holding back the sustainability of the sector. We have worked closely with the Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certification schemes and we were the first organisation to agree not to duplicate audits. Now that there is large-scale certification in the tea sector, ETP has decided to completely phase out its independent audit programme and concentrate its efforts on achieving long term change.
That’s why today our focus is on convening tea companies, development agencies, governmental and non-governmental organisations to improve the lives of communities within the tea sector. Our priority is to tackle complex deep rooted issues that cannot be addressed sufficiently through certification alone. These include working in partnership to tackle the underlying issues that are holding back the sustainability of the sector such as improving the incomes and well being of workers and farmers, improve living conditions, nutrition on tea estates; create opportunities for women and reduce gender based violence; improve the lives of young people in tea communities and increase climate change resilience.