Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Gender Equality in Tea

Tuesday 30 May – Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre, London / Zoom


ETP will be hosting a one-day, hybrid discussion about gender equality in the global tea sector on Tuesday 30 May 2023 at Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre, London, and via Zoom.

Recent media coverage has shone a spotlight on the Kenyan tea sector, raising concerns about women’s safety in the workplace. The temptation is to jump to a solution, to react, and to mobilise resources. We are aware of many bilateral conversations, initiatives, plans, and interventions – all of which are well-intentioned – which are creating noise and disruption when the industry needs to respect the local, legal investigations and to await the findings from producer companies’ investigations.

ETP urges all parties – packers, producers, NGOs, donors, certification bodies and other associations - to be patient, to respect the Kenyan authority’s processes, and to align their efforts where possible. The investigations and immediate action to safeguard workers currently underway is a necessary first step, and we need to convene and agree collective, systemic action for the longer term.

Furthermore, we are aware, sadly, that workplace gender based violence and gender inequalities are issues in global supply chains. Therefore we encourage the tea industry to consider lessons learnt from other regions, to look for effective interventions (and the less effective interventions to avoid), and to refer to existing guidance, such as the UN Guiding Principles, before creating new, reactionary or duplicative activities.

ETP will co-create the agenda for the discussion on 30 May in consultation with partners such as Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), certification bodies, members, donors, and NGOs. The discussion will focus on the global tea sector, not on one country. Our aim is for the discussion to be constructive and collaborative.

The agenda will be published in April and if you are a concerned stakeholder in the tea sector, you are welcome to register for a place. Priority will be given to ETP and ETI members.

Attendees must be employed by a recognised Civil Society Organisation, tea company, or government agency. Note that this will be a dialogue without any media presence.