Tetley has committed to sourcing 100% of its tea from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms.
At Tetley we are always working to make sure our tea improves the lives of the people who grow and pick it just as much as the people who drink it. It is only by respecting the environment and protecting the livelihoods of people working on the estates that we can be assured that our supply chains have a long term future. That's why we are working with the Rainforest Alliance to improve the way the tea estates are managed for the benefit of the environment and the lives of the communities who grow it.
Tetley has committed to sourcing 100% of its tea from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms by 2016. We want to help create a sustainable global tea industry and we believe that working closely with organisations such as Rainforest Alliance is one effective way of achieving this.
You can chat directly to some of our farmers taking part in the Rainforest Alliance certification programme via our Farmers First Hand facebook page
Why has Tetley chosen to use Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM tea?
We believe that the approach taken by the Rainforest Alliance is best able to support the Tetley brand. The sustainable sourcing guarantees offered through Rainforest Alliance certification are the best fit with our overall sustainability strategy that seeks to address both social and environmental issues.
What exactly does the Rainforest Alliance do?
Founded in 1987, the Rainforest Alliance is an international not-for-profit conservation organisation that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behaviour.
The Rainforest Alliance works in over 60 countries with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travellers. The organisation works with businesses and consumers worldwide in their efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace.
To date, the organisation has helped conserve the water, soil and biodiversity of more than 50 million hectares of forest and farmland in 70 countries and improved the lives of more than 2 million workers and their families. You can find out more about the Rainforest Alliance by visiting their website www.rainforest-alliance.org
When will Tetley products carrying the Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM seal become available?
All of Tetley's branded black, green and red tea, including our flavoured and decaffeinated varieties, will be part of the Rainforest Alliance certification programme, which is scheduled for completion by 2016. The first products containing tea from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms became available for the UK foodservice channel in April 2010. We aim to have the first mainstream packs on UK supermarket shelves by April 2011, followed by a Canadian launch in August 2011. Further products are then due to launch in Australia, the US and Europe from 2012 onwards. A comprehensive programme of work is being carried out by the Rainforest Alliance on our behalf to bring the estates that we source from up to certification and to ensure that adequate volumes of tea are available for us to buy.
What about our membership of the ETP?
Tetley remains an active member of the ETP. The ETP is working with Rainforest Alliance to help estates achieve Rainforest Alliance certification and this will facilitate the launch of Tetley products carrying the Rainforest Alliance CertfiedTM seal.
Ethical Tea Partnership
Growing and producing tea provides a livelihood for millions of people around the world. Tetley want to play a full part in helping ensure a sustainable future for this important global industry.
We deliver on this commitment to securing a viable future for the global tea industry through active membership of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP). The ETP is a non-commercial alliance of 20 international tea packers who share a vision for a thriving tea industry that is socially just and environmentally sustainable.
The ETP operates in all the major tea growing regions – Argentina, Brazil, China, India (Assam, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu), Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. Together these supply over 85% of world tea exports.
Key to its success are the five Regional Managers based in Africa, China, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. These are local people who build relationships with tea producers and support them to participate effectively in the ETP programme.
So what exactly does the ETP do?
Assuring living and working conditions on tea estates
The ETP uses independent monitors to assess how estates are performing against the social and environmental criteria laid out in the ETP Standard. These are
- employment is freely chosen
- freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
- health and safety
- child labour and young workers
- wages and benefits
- working hours
- regular employment - no harsh or inhumane treatment - agrochemicals
- biodiversity - soil conservation
- water conservation
- energy use
- waste management
If an estate fails to meet the requirements of the Standard an ETP Regional Manager will work with estate management to address the issues. If the producer does not take steps to deal with the problem areas then the estate will be suspended and no ETP member will buy from it until full remediation has taken place.
Helping estates become more sustainable
The ETP partners with reputable organisations such as UNICEF and CARE International to jointly raise funds for projects that will help producers meet the ETP Standard. Since it was founded in 1997 the ETP has worked on a wide range of issues that have brought about long lasting improvements for people who live and work on tea estates. Examples are improving health and safety through dust control in China, involving both workers and management in key decision-making in Sri Lanka and an age checking system to reduce the potential for child labour in Malawi.
Full details of these and other projects can be found on the ETP website www.ethicalteapartnership.org.