The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) is a membership organisation working to achieve its vision of a thriving, socially just and environmentally sustainable tea sector.

Who we are

The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) is a membership organisation working with tea companies, development organisations and governments to improve the lives of tea workers, farmers and their environment. 

Our aim is to drive long-term, systemic change across three thematic areas in tea – economics, equality and environment. ETP's work improves the progress that is being made towards attaining the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals in tea-growing regions. Read our Strategy2030 to learn more.

The organisation is made up of a small, but dedicated, expert teams across most tea growing regions, including Africa and Asia, as well as a London-based secretariat.

With the support of its 50 members, including the biggest multinational companies in the tea sector, ETP’s work to date has reached over one million people in tea communities. We are supported through a mix of international funding from the public and private sector, including our members, and are uniquely placed to bring the right partnerships together to achieve our vision of a thriving, socially just and environmentally sustainable tea sector.

Our mission

Much of the world’s tea is grown in places that face significant sustainability challenges. Our priority is to tackle the deep-rooted issues and some of the most complex challenges that tea workers and farmers are facing.

As well as supporting communities on the ground with our programmes across Africa and Asia, ETP also leads the sustainability agenda by piloting business innovations and influencing policy.

We work to improve incomes and empower women to be more independent, as well as helping the sector to become more resilient to the impact of climate change.

In our mission is to improve tea sustainability, our work focuses on the following key themes:

Click here to read about the impact we want to have, and the approach that we take, as part of our Strategy2030.

Credit: Andy Hall

Our impact

Our work has improved the lives of people living in tea communities. To date, our work has reached over one million tea workers, small-scale farmers and their communities. 

Click here to read more. 

Credit: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Panos

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 increase their incomes. We’re proud to have established and jointly coordinated 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.