03 July 2013
By Dr S Chattopadhayay and Mr R K Babaycon
Why sustainable tea production?
Improved food safety standards
Eliminate foreign bodies
Controlled pesticide usage
Improved quality
Better in process controls
Compliance to FSSAI norms
Inclusion of small holders farmers in mainstream business
Adaptation & mitigation of adverse climate change effects.
Protection of National ecosystems (soil, water. Biodiversity)
Companies focussing on responsible and ethical sourcing
Large Global companies - Tetley, Twinings, Taylors, Sara Lee & Unilever – committed to sustainable sourcing for
their teas
Global retailers are demanding this from the tea companies
Consumers are increasingly demanding sustainable and responsible products
Long-term security of business for both producers and buyers
Better agricultural practices to improve productivity.
Improved quality of life for workers and small tea farmers.
Consumers are already differentiating between companies based on the sustainability
of their products
Source - Edelman goodpurpose® 2012
Consumers in Rapid Growth Economies (RGEs)
appear to care more than their Western colleagues
Source - Edelman goodpurpose® 2012
China, India, Indonesia, UAE, Brazil
USA, Western Europe
Why do we need locally owned standards?
The top down-fit all approach of global standards is resisted by the stakeholders
even when there is a export market. Cultural and technical issues come on the
Governments and stakeholders resist the carrot and stick policy and prefer to
engage with the ones more rooted to local realities. (E.G. ISPO from Indonesia,
China Social Compliance 9000, IS 16001 from India).
India, China and Indonesia are the biggest producer and consumer of most agrocommodities. Yet, most international standards do not operate in these markets.
International standards are costly to implement in a low margin business model
of Asia.
Global businesses are increasingly seeking to provide sustainable products to all
customers in all markets (i.e. Unilever, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Mars, Nestle)
Co-existance of national and internation standards is not new
Palm oil
What are the key Sustainability challenges
for Indian tea production?
Stagnating yield levels
Smallholders under-performing larger estates
Wages and poor working conditions
Low literacy levels
Lack of farmer groupings
Improper storage & usage of chemicals and fertilizers
Low awareness of Health & Safety issues
Incorrect disposal of waste
Water pollution and soil erosion
Habitat destruction
Poor record keeping
Resulting in:
Consumer safety issues
Low yield
Limited knowledge of hygiene
Arbitrary use of pesticides
Global reputational risk
What do we intend to do?
• Develop and implement an India specific, sustainability ‘code’ for tea.
• Drive Independent verification vs. “branded” certification
• Focus on Tea factories to implement the verification process program
• Set up training tools and programmes to help farmers & factories to get
verified and become more sustainable.
In do doing.. Cover 50%+ of Indian Tea by 2016 ( approx 500 million kg)
Project Implementation: some key actions…
Budget: Total cost est. INR 180m over 5 years
• Initial budget secured by HUL and IDH
Target Groups:
• 600+ factories
• 500000 farm workers
• 40000 smallholders (via smallholder groups)
•On the ground Operations:
Farmer Support Centres (FSC) established to help target groups get verified:
Audit targeted Factories & Farmer Groups (F & FG) to evaluate
gaps in current practices vs. the code
Guide & help Implement formation of small holder groups
Training F&FG on Sustainability Code & Good Agricultural Practices
Implement cost effective improvement plans (closing the gap)
Move the Farmers/Farmer Groups to be capable of doing self audits vs
code in readiness for verification & for continuous improvements
Code elements
Chapter 1: Management system and continuous improvement
Chapter 2: Product traceability
Chapter 3: Soil conservation and management
Chapter 4: Water Management
1. Improved consumer safety
Chapter 5: Fertilizers
2. Higher yields
3. Improved hygiene in factories
Chapter 6: Crop protection Products –( CPP)
4. Controlled and Safe handling /use of pesticides
5. Healthier and happier work force
Chapter 7: Food safety
6. Improved environment
image of Indian Tea globally
Chapter 8: Safety, health and7.
of the workforce
Chapter 9: Working conditions and labour rights
Chapter 10: Biodiversity and environmental management
Chapter 11: Waste and pollution management
Program Organisation
Steering Committee
Major Funders
Program Management
Funders and key Partners
Program Advisory
Tea Board &
respresentatives of key
Indian stakeholders
Progress to Date
Program Management Committee (PMC) and Steering Group (SG) established
Implementing partner, Solidaridad, appointed for delivering the program.Program Secretariat
set up in Kolkata
5 year implementation plan in place
Stakeholder briefings and support (TBOI, FAITTA, NSTGA, ITA, UPASI)
Tea Board agrees to champion the program
Program Advisory Committee (PAC) formed with Tea Board as its Chair
Draft sustainability code prepared and shared with PAC.
3 Farmer Support Centres (FSCs) and 6 pilot projects soon to be launched
Program launch in 11 July 2013 in Kolkata. YOU ARE INVITED.
Why is this important for the Indian tea industry?
“Certified” Safe and hygienic teas
– Safer, healthier and more environmentally friendly teas
Get industry ready for future consumer & customer demands
Safeguard the competitiveness of the Indian tea industry.
Improved relationships and loyalty in the supply chain
& other stakeholders
Long term security of supply for the Indian tea market
Healthier farms, workers and the environment
International recognition of sustainable tea practices in India