The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) is a not for profit organisation that convenes the tea industry, development partners, NGOs and governments to improve the lives of tea workers, farmers and the environment in which they live and work.

Who we are

The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) is a not for profit organisation that convenes the tea industry, development partners, NGOs and governments to improve the lives of tea workers, farmers and the environment in which they live and work. Our priority is to work on long-term programmes to tackle the deep-rooted issues and some of the most complex challenges that tea workers and communities are facing.

We are supported through a mix of international funding from the public and private sector, including our members. We are uniquely placed to bring the right partnerships together, enabling us to go further, faster in our mission.

Our expert team develops, coordinates and implements a range of programmes across Africa and Asia with partners to create a fairer, more sustainable tea industry for tea workers, farmers and the environment.

Our mission

Much of the world’s tea is grown in places that face considerable challenges. Our mission is to help create a thriving, socially just and environmentally sustainable tea sector. In all our activity, we work to improve the progress that is being made towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in tea-growing regions.

Our work on the ground spans Africa and Asia, and our far-reaching programmes have real impact. We work on deep-rooted, long-term change programmes that improve the lives of workers, farmers and their families and communities. We work to improve incomes and we also empower women to be more independent, improve health and nutrition in tea communities and help the sector to deal with, and become more resilient to, climate change.

While most of our programmes cut across many themes and have a range of impacts, they focus on the following key themes:

Credit: Andy Hall

Our impact

Credit: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Panos

Changing lives

Our work has improved the lives of people living in tea communities. By the end of 2020 we will have changed the lives of over one million people in tea communities.

As a result of our work on the ground, tea workers and small-scale farmers have better health, education and diets. We’ve helped people have better nutrition across Malawi, Rwanda and Sri Lanka.

Better incomes

We continue to drive and lead work on living wage and living income, as well as creating opportunities for tea workers and farmers to make more money. We’re proud to have established and jointly coordinate the Malawi Tea 2020 partnership to ensure that all workers in Malawi have improved wages and benefits.

Empowering women

Our programmes champion women. Across Assam, India girls have better lives thanks to our partnership with UNICEF, which is reducing child marriage and unsafe migration, helping girls stay in education and equipping them and their communities with the skills to reduce the risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. Our Improving Lives programme with UNICEF is the largest of its kind, reaching 250,000 people and a quarter of all tea estates in Assam.

Climate & environment

Our work is helping the tea sector to reduce its carbon footprint and to improve its environmental sustainability and climate change resilience. For instance, our energy efficiency work with Kenyan small-scale tea farmers is saving trees and millions of dollars every year, all of which is returned to the farmers.

Credit: Andy Hall

A CarbonNeutral Ethical Tea Partnership

ETP has committed to going CarbonNeutral® in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol. We’ve measured our emissions and will be reducing them wherever possible. Where we can’t, we will finance programmes that reduce emissions and bring wider benefits to tea-farming communities.

Working with Natural Capital Partners and United Purpose, we will purchase carbon credits to deliver the emissions reductions that make ETP CarbonNeutral.

Carbon credits will be issued based on the volumes of carbon emissions which are reduced by the cookstove programme. Through the programme, stoves are produced which are more efficient than the traditional fires and cookstoves used by many households. This means that farmers are spending less money on fuel for cooking and have improved health as the stoves produce fewer particulates. Emissions caused by cooking are reduced thanks to the decreased need for fuelwood from forests. It’s these carbon emission reductions that are measured and verified to make ETP carbon neutral.