TEAM UP is the world’s number one tea and sustainability conference. TEAM UP brings the whole value chain (e.g. producers, tea buyers, traders, and retailers) together with The Ethical Tea Partnership’s global team, IDH, and partners (e.g. tea boards and associations, NGOs, certification organizations, specialist implementing agencies, and UN agencies) to accelerate change across the tea sector.

TEAM UP is an initiative by the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) and IDH. Since its inauguration in 2013, TEAM UP has quickly become a permanent and important fixture in the tea industry calendar, growing in both size and stature. It’s the one opportunity in the year when the whole value chain can reflect together on how the sector is doing, learn from success and failure, discuss the difficult issues, and inspire each other to increase our impact.

TEAM UP 2017 took place in Africa this year – in Nairobi, Kenya on Wednesday 10th May 2017. This year, TEAM UP focused mostly on hearing different perspectives and updates on key initiatives in the tea sector in Africa, discussing challenges faced by the producers and buyers in the industry and the way forward for the African tea industry, learning about best practice gender equality programs, and understanding how the landscape approach in the South West Mau Forest in Kenya is protecting national parks and natural resources. More information can be found in the TEAM UP 2017 report.

Hear why you should be at Team Up from Jordy van Honk (program director Tea at IDH), Ken Odire (Unilever Tea East Africa) and Simeon Hutchinson (Finlays, Kenya):

TEAM UP 2016

The last TEAM UP event took place on 14 June 2016, focusing on the theme Goals:

  • The targets that the sector needs to set in order to achieve a thriving tea industry that is socially just and environmentally sustainable
  • The programs and partnerships that we need to achieve the above
  • New approaches to deal with difficult challenges

At the event we also look at the UN Sustainable Development Goals, their implications for the tea sector, and how they can help guide the sustainability agenda for tea.

By establishing industry-wide goals and working together we aim to achieve:

  1. Good livelihoods and quality of life of tea workers, farmers, and their communities
  2. Fair and equal opportunities for the people that grow and produce tea
  3. Good environmental management practices including climate change adaptation and mitigation 


At TEAM UP 2015, it was decided to take TEAM UP on the road into producing countries. The first edition took place on 9 April 2016 in Kolkata, India as a spin-off of the global tea sustainability event hosted by IDH and ETP for the last 3 years. TEAM UP India hosted together with the India Tea Association (ITA), the Tea Research Association (TRA) Tocklai, ETP and IDH, and had 165 delegates from over 50 organizations. The objective of the event was to develop and scale-up approaches to deal with the sustainability challenges facing the India tea industry and communities, and laying the foundations for an India Roadmap towards a sustainable and thriving India tea industry by 2020 and beyond.

Previous editions

– TEAM UP India 2016
– TEAM UP 2015 Pushing Boundaries
– TEAM UP 2014 Chain Reactions
– TEAM UP 2013

Reports of the previous events can be found below under resources.


Sector: Tea

Working together to solve sustainability issues in the tea industry