What we do
Our aim is to drive forward long-term, systemic change across three thematic areas in tea – economics, equality and environment. As well as our programmes across Africa and Asia, ETP also leads the sustainability agenda through piloting business innovations and influencing policy.
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.
We have been working with GIZ and six tea companies as part of a Strategic Alliance in Rwanda and Malawi since 2019, and in Kenya from 2020 to improve livelihoods for smallholder farmers.
Just under half of the population in Rwanda live in extreme poverty. Poor diets and malnutrition are a concern, with 38% of children under five reported as being stunted.
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.
Along with ETP member, DAVIDsTEA and producer, Zhejiang Kainon Trading, we have identified the need to bring children and parents together through a safe educational space in a tea community in Zhejiang Province, 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.
The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) has worked with tea communities in India over many years. We are therefore very aware of the complex, sometimes hidden, issues facing tea communities.
Climate change is one of the major risks faced by the world today. The effects of climate change will impact how and where tea can be grown. This has serious implications for the people who depend on tea for a living. Small-scale farmers are particularly vulnerable.
The effects of climate change will impact how and where tea can be grown, and whether small-scale tea farmers can continue to depend on tea to provide for them and their families.