Ethical Tea Partnership
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The Ethical Tea Partnership is a not-for-profit membership organisation that has been working with tea producers and tea companies to improve the sustainability of the tea industry since 1997. This industry-wide initiative, which was originally called the Tea Sourcing Partnership, was established by a number of large UK tea packing companies who took the decision to work together to improve the social conditions in their supply chains. Later on, ETP membership opened up to non UK based-tea packers, and extended the scheme to include environmental issues as well.
The ETP works in all the main tea producing regions and has a London-based Secretariat, and 5 Regional Managers based in Kenya, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and China. It runs three coordinated programmes to achieve its vision of a "thriving tea industry that is socially just and environmentally sustainable''.
Monitoring and Certification
The ETP monitoring programme has been running since 1997 and is free of charge to producers. The programme is based on continuous improvement and its environmental and social provisions are outlined in the ETP Global Standard. These provisions are closely aligned to the main certification programmes operating in tea (Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified) and help producers to meet internationally recognised standards.
- Freely chosen employment
- Freedom of Association & the right to collective bargaining
- Health and Safety
- Child Labour
- Wages and Benefits
- Working Hours
- Regular Employment
- Disciplinary Procedures
- Environmental Management Systems
- Soil Conservation
- Ecosystem Conservation
- Water Conservation
- Energy Use
- Waste Management
In order to increase impact and to reduce duplication the ETP has formal relationships in place with Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified. As such, the ETP works to facilitate certification where ETP member companies request this and producers are interested. The ETP also works with certification programmes and a wide range of NGOs and development organisations through its producer support programmes.
In order to help producers to meet international social and environmental standards the ETP co-ordinates a series of training and improvement programmes. These are aimed at both management and workers and cover a number of issues including:
- Factory health and safety
- Agrochemical management
- Fair treatment of workers
- Environmental management (including wildlife and biodiversity)
These capacity building projects are facilitated by the ETP Regional Managers who build relationships with tea producers and support them to participate effectively in the ETP programme.
ETP has been working with ETI on a training programme focused on reducing discrimination and harassment of workers in Africa. This type of training supplements the auditing process by offering practical support to producers and it tackles long-term problematic issues that cannot be addressed by auditing and certification alone.
As well as addressing issues that pose an immediate threat to workers and the environment, the ETP also works on those issues that threaten the long-term future sustainability of tea. For example, in Kenya, the ETP is working in partnership with GIZ (the German Development Agency) to help in excess of 10,000 smallholder farmers to adapt to the effects of climate change in order to help them secure their future livelihoods from tea. Together, ETP and GIZ are developing toolkits for good climate change adaptation practices that span from technical solutions (good practice farming) to socio-economic approaches and institutional and political options.
As well as working with NGO and development organisations, the Ethical Tea Partnership works closely with tea producers to share and develop ideas on how to improve the sustainability of tea.
Membership of the Ethical Tea Partnership is open to any company involved with sourcing, trading or packing of tea sold in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. The organization works with members by checking that their suppliers meet social and environmental standards.
The ETP currently has 29 members.
- Ahmad Tea
- All About Tea
- Bell Tea and Coffee
- Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate Ltd
- Bigelow Tea
- Birchall Tea
- D.E Master Blenders 1753
- DJ Miles & Co Ltd
- Jing Tea
- J.T. Ronnefeldt
- Mars Drinks
- Metropolitan Tea Co
- Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee Inc
- Newby Teas
- Ostfriesische Tee Gesellschaft (OTG)
- project t
- Reginald Ames
- The Republic of Tea
- Steeped Tea
- stick & lembke
- Tazo tea
- We Are Tea
- Tea Monkey
- United Coffee
Originally membership to ETP was only open to UK-based tea packing companies; the founding members were:
- The Tetley Group
- Bettys and Taylors
- Windmill Tea
- DJ Miles
- Gala Tea and Coffee
- Matthew Algie
- Jane Pettigrew and Bruce Richardson ‘Tea Classified: A Tea Lover’s Companion’ The National Trust Books, 2008
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