Tetley Tea and Sustainability

Ethical Tea Partnership Logo

The Ethical Tea Partnership

Tetley is an active member of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP). The ETP is a non-commercial alliance of over 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.

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
  • discrimination
  • 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