Footprint Blog


Global tea brand Tetley adds Rainforest Alliance certification

Posted in 1,Foodservice Footprint news,International,News,Sustainability,Sustainable Sourcing by foodservicefootprint on February 17, 2010


Tetley, the world’s second largest manufacturer and distributor of tea, has today announced its decision to obtain Rainforest Alliance certification for the Tetley brand globally.

Tetley has committed to purchasing all of the tea for its branded teabag and loose tea products from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms. All Tetley branded black, green and red (Rooibos) tea, including flavoured and decaffeinated varieties, will be part of the certification programme, which is scheduled for completion by 2016.

The first certified products will be available for the UK foodservice channel from April 2010. Tetley products sourced from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms will then become more widely available in the UK and Canada early in 2011, followed by launches in other key markets including the US, Australia and mainland Europe from 2012.

Given its presence in 70 countries around the world, Tetley’s commitment to Rainforest Alliance certification is a significant move for the global tea industry that will have a wide-reaching and positive impact across the brand’s global supply chains. The collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance will empower and support growers to proactively address and manage the social and environmental challenges they face. Tea producers in all the major tea-growing regions will benefit.

All farms that are Rainforest Alliance Certified™ have met the environmental, social, and economic standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). The SAN standards cover ecosystem conservation, worker rights and safety, wildlife protection, water and soil conservation, agrochemical reduction, decent housing, and legal wages and contracts for workers.

Tetley is one of the brands of the Tata Beverage Group. CEO, Peter Unsworth, said, “Our consumers will be able to enjoy their favourite Tetley blend knowing it has been produced in a way that respects the environment and the tea growers and pickers. We are delighted to be working with the Rainforest Alliance and Sustainable Agriculture Network who are well positioned to support a brand with the scale and reach of Tetley”.

Responding to Tetley’s announcement, Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance said, “We welcome this commitment from Tetley wholeheartedly. Tea farmers have faced many challenges, but working together we can make industry-wide changes to ensure positive environmental and social practices, and give consumers what they really want – reassurance that their cup of tea benefits both farmers and the land.”

Tetley remain active members of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), whose existing programme and collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance will help facilitate the launch of Tetley certified products.

Sally Uren, Deputy CEO of Forum for the Future commented, “We have worked with Tetley for eight years, helping them bring sustainability to the heart of their business. Their plans with the Rainforest Alliance are evidence of a deep commitment to delivering a great product in a sustainable way. By doing the right thing for growers, pickers and the environment, Tetley is signalling its long term vision of helping create a sustainable global tea industry”.

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