In Kenya, tea is one of the most important cash crop and export commodities; however, Kenyan tea farmers are suffering from declining yields and lower international prices. Ensuring farmers get a fair price for their produce is critical to both the long-term sustainability of The Co-operative Group’s supply of tea and to the economic viability of tea farming communities.
To promote sustainable tea farming communities, The Co-operative Group has joined the Business Call to Action with its commitment to increase economic opportunity and expand marketing channels for roughly 11,000 Kenyan tea farmers–especially women–by extending its co-operative business model into its own supply chain.
The Co-operative Group is providing tea farmers with trade, management and farming skills to improve the quality and the quantity their tea production. Through this initiative, the Co-operative Group will organize, train and develop 11,000 smallholders into four co-operatives in the Kericho area of southwestern Kenya, and help these groups achieve Fairtrade certification.
Once the farmers achieve Fairtrade certification, they will be able to raise prices by up to 30 percent and benefit from a premium paid to the co-operative for community development.