In 1997, a group of tea companies decided to work together to monitor the social and environmental aspects of global tea production. The result was the formation of the Ethical Tea Partnership. Today, the organization monitors and advises tea growers in areas ranging from employment practices to energy use. As the Ethical Tea Partnership states, “Together we’re helping to create a thriving tea industry that is socially just and environmentally sustainable.”
Through its auditing programs and educational projects, the ETP is working hard to improve the lives and livelihoods of tea workers and their environment by:
- Raising core standards
- Improving worker lives and livelihoods
- Addressing Climate change and environmental concerns
They focus on:
*Improving conditions for workers and smallholders, and the way that tea estates and factories are managed.
*Running training programs that make workplaces better, fairer, and safer.
*Ensuring producers in members’ supply chains meet good social and environmental standards.
*Developing and supporting partnership projects that address the underlying issues holding back the sustainability of the industry.
*Helping farmers increase their resilience and adapt to the impact of climate change, ensuring that they can continue to thrive in the future.
*Helping producers improve their environmental management systems to protect soil, water, ecosystems, and wildlife.
Bigelow Tea is a committed member of the ETP. The Ethical Tea Partnership’s dedication to acting ethically and achieving strategic sustainability is right in line with the goals of Bigelow Tea. The family-run company has made Sustainabili-TEA a priority. “Being green”—whether it’s by installing 880 solar panels on the company’s headquarters or using compostable packaging for the 1.6 billion tea bags produced annually —is a way of life at Bigelow Tea. It is, simply, the right thing to do.
As a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, Bigelow Tea takes a positive step to assure that its tea growers and producers are audited and examined for items ranging from fair treatment of workers to long-term environmental issues.
Bigelow Tea was the sixth North-American tea company to join the group. Upon joining, Sarah Roberts, Executive Director of the ETP commented: “It’s very encouraging that an established tea company such as Bigelow, which historically has strong ethical principles, understands the value of membership to the ETP. To have a sixth North American packer with established business relationships on board, opens up many new opportunities to the ETP, which will ultimately benefit thousands more tea workers and farmers, and the environments in which tea is produced.”
Bigelow Tea’s third-generation President and CEO Cindi Bigelow said, “Since 1945, my family and everyone at Bigelow Tea has been dedicated to creating the finest-tasting teas and to ensuring that our customers always get the most exceptional tea drinking experience. We also believe in being good corporate citizens, caring not just about our customers, but also about our employees and about the world itself. That’s why we’re proud to be part of the Ethical Tea Partnership, an organization that works with tea growers to establish methods for sustainability and responsible conservation of the world’s tea fields and improve the lives of the beautiful people who work them. When you do the right thing, good things will follow.”