At Lipton we recognise the importance of sustainability in the growth of our tea. With over 100 years of experience our approach to sustainability is holistic. We looked in detail at the social, environmental and economical aspects of tea production carrying out our own work and working with Rainforest Alliance to ensure all our tea is sourced sustainably.
Lipton Quality Black is now fully Rain Forest Alliance accredited with all tea sourced from RFA accredited farms. The remaining products in the Lipton range will be fully RFA accredited by the end of 2015
People play a vital role in sustainable agriculture whether they form part of the workforce, the government or the local community.
We rely on the passion and skill of our tea farmers and pluckers, who select the best leaves. We maintain strong relationships with local community, suppliers, customers and local Government; vital for long-term sustainability of any business.
Our aims within the workforce include:
- Keep a low turnover rate amongst permanent employees and seasonal labour to ensure skill levels are maintained.
- Ensure employee grievance procedures are fair and employees are confident to use them if in need.
- Be a good customer, citizen and supplier; pay and supply on time and at the agreed price.
- Encourage farmers to group together to obtain bulk discounts, joint transport for fertiliser or safety equipment, to share information on subsidies, tax benefits, agronomic and health benefits and lobby for infrastructure improvements.
- Maintain good relationships with local Government and others in the local community who use the land for amenity or traditional purposes.
- Deliberately enhance/market the company image in the eyes of third parties to strengthen the organisation's relationship with both the community and Government.
Healthy, well-educated people are assets to growers and vital for the sustainable development of the nation. Our procedures include the following:
Encourage social programmes that enhance literacy and health (e.g. clean water provision, vaccination programmes, nutrition information, HIV awareness, help with disabilities, advantages of small families etc.).
HIV/AIDS education and prevention should be high on the agenda for both estates and smallholders. Provide training opportunities for employees and farmer groups in key aspects of the tea business.
Potential areas for improvement
Farmer groups and larger estates may consider developing partnerships with Government to address shared threats and to support public services. Estates should develop links to smallholders (outgrowers) with a view to providing extension support.