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.
In Sri Lanka, tea is hand-picked and most of the tea workforce is made up of tea pluckers – a role held predominantly by women. Increasing opportunities to secure better incomes outside the tea industry means there is a shortage of tea workers.
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.
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.
Although women and girls enjoy greater rights and opportunities today than at any other time in history, gender inequality persists around the world. We know that women and girls’ lives are often limited in the countries and communities that produce tea.