In March 2011 Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) and the Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT) held a meeting with 18 plantation company CEOs to discuss pesticide safety and a new ETP funded project aimed at improving safe use of agrochemicals. This will help to reduce the risks to workers, community members (including children) and the environment.
As well as providing an opportunity for open discussion, Justin Perera, an agrochemical specialist responsible for training the trainers (staff from PHDT and estate sprayers who will ultimately roll out the training to sprayers), presented a session on Pesticide Stewardship and effective and safe ways of spraying.
This session was supported by Dr. Shankar Raman from the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), who previously worked closely with ETP in India. He provided an overview of the environmental provisions of the ETP Standard and showcased the need to follow good environmental management systems to help protect wildlife and ecosystems.
By involving CEOs improved working practices will be driven from the top down. This will improve the effectiveness of spraying and reduce the risks to human heath and the environment. The project will launch with 2 pilot sessions with a further 28 training sessions scheduled for 2011.