Producers & Products

Tea

Fairtrade tea is a perfect pick-me-up, and a way to empower hundreds of thousands of farmers and workers in east Africa and southeast Asia.

Fairtrade has helped me in so many ways. Before Fairtrade, the amount of money we were getting for our tea was much lower. Through Fairtrade, we’ve been able to invest in school blocks, a clinic, clean water sources and covering school fees for orphans.

Esme Kamwende, a tea farmer in Malawi

All About Tea

After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. But there are many challenges in the industry that put tea farmers and workers at a disadvantage.

Large tea estates can employ thousands of workers, but conditions are poor and pay very low. Meanwhile, small-scale farmers rely on facilities at large estates for processing, meaning they have little control over their incomes and access to supply chains.

Since 1994, Fairtrade has been committed to bringing about change for tea producers. Our rigorous Standards are designed to empower farmers and workers through sustainable production practices, environmental protections, and improved labour rights.

Fairtrade certified tea producers receive the Fairtrade Minimum Price, which is meant to cover the costs of sustainable production and provides protection against price drops due to unstable global markets. , as well as the Fairtrade Premium, an additional sum for collective use. Small-scale tea farmers invest most of their Premium funds in farm and facility improvements, while workers on larger estates choose to provide direct services to themselves and their families, such as education and healthcare.

The majority of Fairtrade tea farmers are located in Kenya, while most tea workers are employed on estates in India. Farmers often use the Fairtrade Premium they earn to invest in their farms, to improve quality and yield, or to provide much-needed equipment and facilities. Workers use most of their Premium funds for direct services for themselves and their families, such as education, healthcare, housing, and provision of credit when needed.

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