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Sri Lankan Women of Tea Programme

Five per cent of global tea production originates from Sri Lanka, where the tea industry employs nearly one million people and contributes $1.5 billion to the country’s economy.

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Empowering Sri Lanka’s tea communities

Close to a million people in Sri Lanka work in the tea industry. Tea estates were established during colonial times back in the 1800s, with a Tamil workforce. Many of the traditional structures and separation between workers and management have remained in place, despite changes to local ownership.

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Supporting Chinese farmers and the environment to thrive

China produces the greatest volume of tea in the world, and much of it is grown by the 15 million small-scale tea farmers in the country. In China farmers are generally not tied to a cooperative or particular factory, and many have not participated in organised training.

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Improving working conditions in China

Given that nearly half of the world’s tea comes from China, it is not surprising that 80 million people in the country work in tea. The factories that process Chinese tea are varied – ranging from small, family-owned factories, to highly automated state-of the art factories. Similarly, human resource (HR) systems in place in the Chinese tea sector are also varied.

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