From bush to cup
ekaterra buys 5% of the world’s tea supply – serving circa 385 million consumers every day – and supports a workforce of around 1 million people in 21 different countries. These range from India and China to Argentina and Australia, as well as our own plantations in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda and a factory in Turkey that processes the tea bought from tea farmers.
Black and green tea, made from leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, makes up 90% of our tea business. We also produce plant-based herbal teas (or ‘tisanes’), infusions and non-teas made from flowers, herbs and plants other than Camellia sinensis (such as chamomile, peppermint and rooibos).
As the market leader in tea, we recognise the responsibility we hold as a major buyer and are continually working to make our supply chain more sustainable. This starts with helping to improve the lives of the people who pick our leaves and how we blend and package our products, through to the environmental impact tea production has on the planet.
Transparency across the supply chain
Through increasing transparency across our global supply chain, we believe we can accelerate our ongoing efforts to transform the entire tea industry.
For some time, we have full traceability of where our tea comes from. Since September 2019, we’ve made public where we source the leaves for our tea blends – for all our brands across all supplying countries.
United for change
Our brands connect us to millions of people whose livelihoods depend on the tea production and the ecosystems they share – including on 750,000 small farms, mostly in Africa and Asia.
Working with NGOs and other partners enables us to tackle wider social and environmental issues on an even bigger scale. These programmes aim to enhance the livelihoods and wellbeing of local workers, farmers and their families:
- Women make up more than 60% of the workforce in tea plantations. We are supporting the implementation of women’s safety initiatives in Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya in partnership with governments, women’s rights organisations, NGOs and other partners, guided by the UN Women’s Global Women’s Safety Framework in Rural Spaces.
- Through a joint initiative with the Initiative for Sustainable Landscapes (ISLA) we’re working to restore and conserve 60,000 hectares of the South West Mau Forest by 2030 through holistic landscape management.
- We have introduced sustainable practices to smallholder factories we work with in Sri Lanka; these include training sessions for estate managers and engaging tea regulatory bodies on issues such as recycling of plastics at tea plantations. We are also finding ways to create more jobs - and increase income opportunities - for smallholder farmers and to invest in new factories and local infrastructure on the Mufindi tea estates of Tanzania.
- Get through the flu season with the right products from ekaterra
At ekaterra, we aim to only serve the tastiest products that enrich physical, emotional and social wellbeing and with flu season around the corner we want to help consumers get through it with the right products.
- Ground breaking innovation in tea production
Ground breaking innovation in tea production. ekaterra R&D has pioneered a process that extracts natural ‘essence’ from pressed leaves to enhance the flavour of the tea blend.
- Ever wondered where your favourite cup of tea comes from?
We have published a complete list of our global tea suppliers. This move further increases transparency in our supply chain and boosts our ongoing efforts to transform the tea industry.
- Why we’re encouraging tea workers to eat more balanced diets?
Our Seeds of Prosperity programme is helping tea workers and their families improve their health and wellbeing through more nutritious, diverse diets.