The Tea Detective
Uncovering and Exploring the Facts About Tea
The Ethical Tea Partnership at Work
The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) was originally established in 1997 in the U.K.
by a group of British tea packing companies under the name Tea Sourcing Part-
nership.  Many of their goals were much the same as those of
Fair Trade, but
worked differently
Their early objectives were
to monitor conditions on tea
estates in countries from
which they (British tea packers and blenders)
bought their teas.  They believed in a shared
responsibility for the physical, social, and
ethical conditions involved in tea production,
packing, and supply.

The ETP is a shining example of industry
leaders setting up a program monitoring tea
production methods and living conditions of
workers on tea estates, and finding ways to
improve them from within the tea industry

The Ethical Tea Partnership has grown into
an international non-commercial alliance
based in Europe and North America, who
independently monitor the lives of tea
workers worldwide.  
Funded completely by its members who are leading tea packers the ETP monitors tea workers
                                               and estates in
Kenya, Sri Lanka, southern and northern India,
Indonesia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Argentina, China, and Brazil.

                                               The success of ETP monitoring is based on its openness and
                                               autonomy - independent governing of the tea industry by the
                                               tea industry.  Independent ETP monitors from PriceWaterhouse
                                               Coopers visit the member tea gardens, taking notes of current
                                               conditions, as well as any changes from previous visits.

Because they are already familiar with local
laws, customs, statutes, and languages, the
ETP monitors are able to observe and eval-
uate a garden's condition without prejudice.
Monitor's usually visit a tea garden for sev-
eral days, interviewing the workers, mana-
gers, and estate owners, along with any
village or community members who interact
with those on the tea estate.

The tea estates aren't asked to conform to
any harsh certification standards or econ-
omic models, and there is no cost to them
for participating in the program.

Any increase in price the individual tea gar-
dens might receive will be based on a high-
er quality product and the reputation gained by having their tea grown under higher standards.

       The ETP's goal is to continue to improve the workplace quality, which will in turn improve
       the quality of the product, giving tea buyers an added incentive to
buy tea from ethically
       sourced gardens.

       As of 2008 the ETP expanded their global standard.  It is now based on the Ethical Trad-
       ing Initiatives base code principals, environment, and community issues, which are all
       added to by trade union agreements and each country's individual laws.  

                                                         More emphasis is being placed on setting up best pract-
                                                         ices in tea estates and factories, and on tea estate man-
                                                         agement systems that strive to maintain ETP standards.

                                                         ETP members can add the ETP logo along with the words
                                                         "working for a responsible tea industry" on their packag-
                                                         ing to identify their tea as being grown under ETP
                                                         standards.  Some packers who endorse the goals of the
       ETP will list the web site on their packaging, and many bulk tea sellers will list a specific
       tea garden as being ETP monitored.  
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