Greetings from the ETP China desk, and of course, Happy Chinese New Year! Here in water-logged England, we welcome the year of the fiery wood horse as it chases out that pesky water snake.  Tea producers will be pleased to learn that the wood horse bodes well for agriculture, and as always, we’ll be working hard this year to ensure that success extends to the social and agricultural bottom lines as well.

Here is a quick roundup of our achievements in China over the past year:

  • Our man in China, John Qin, made 80 visits to producers last year to support their work implementing the ETP Global Standard
  • Completed a Practical Guide to Good HR Practices in the Chinese Tea Sector with an accompanying toolkit of practical templates
  • Provided expert-led training workshops on good practices to management and clerical staff from 10 factories
  • 9 factories participated in an ETP audit in our first year of auditing since the pilot audits carried out the previous year
  • Studied the production and livelihoods of tea farmer groups in the provinces of Anhui, Jiangxi, Hunan, and Yunnan

As we gallop into the New Year (sorry, I couldn’t resist), I’m particularly looking forward to engaging with suppliers we have not previously worked with and bringing them into our training and audit programmes.  So far we’ve had a very positive response; evidence of the strengthening position of ETP in the Chinese tea industry.  Hmm, quite a good year when we look back.  Perhaps that water snake wasn’t so bad after all.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!