A multi-stakeholder partnership with Malawian tea producers, the largest international tea buyers, voluntary sustainability standards, NGOs and governments working together towards a competitive Malawian tea industry where workers earn a living wage and smallholders are thriving. It also aims for significant improvements in general working and living conditions of tea estate workers, especially women.

Activities are coordinated by a Steering Committee comprising the Tea Association of Malawi (TAML), which represents producers, IDH, Oxfam, and the Ethical Tea Partnership which brings together the buying companies. In total, 20 different organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the Summer of 2015 committing them to the program.

Objectives of the Program

  1. An industry that is investing in its future and its workforce
  2. Significant improvement in wages and benefits for workers – supply chain commitment to a living wage by 2020
  3. Improvements in smallholder farming practices, yields, quality, income, and income diversification
  4. A healthier, motivated, and productive workforce, with greater opportunities for women
  5. An improved wage-setting process with greater worker representation
  6. Sustainable energy use and improved environment 
From design into implementation

The first half of 2016 the Malawi Tea 2020 revitalization programme transitioned from design into implementation. A recognition agreement between the plantations Union and the Tea Association of Malawi was signed, followed by the first collective bargaining which resulted in a Collective Bargaining Agreement in effect from the 1 August 2016. Wages were raised by 24%. Furthermore smallholder and worker projects were started. For example, from the nutrition workstream, the midday meals of 18.800 Malawian plantation workers are now fortified as a result of our support to the work of GAIN. 

Project details

Sector: Tea

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