Livelihoods and Land

Empowering tea communities

As part of our Sourced with Care programme we are proud to have partnered with the ETP (Ethical Tea Partnership) and CARE International in Indonesia to support the implementation of Community Development Forums (CDFs), alongside Starbucks and Tazo.

In Indonesia’s tea gardens, women represent the majority of the workforce, but mainly in low paid tea plucking jobs. Many are poorly educated, lack financial empowerment, due to little understanding or control of their income, or do not have access to a bank account and are often discriminated against at work for these reasons.

With workers often overlooked and discriminated against the CDFs provide a forum for workers and management in the tea gardens to have open conversations regarding a range of subjects including health and education. Through this open dialogue workers are able to voice the concerns and needs to help address inequality and bring about change in their communities.

The aim of this three-year project is to enable the protection of rights for female tea workers and empower women who are more vulnerable to human rights abuses, whilst educating them on social and economic issues.

Through this partnership we aim to directly reach over 250 women through the CDF and more than 1,000 indirectly through these peers.

The CDF helps to address these issues by training female tea pluckers in leadership skills and women’s safety, and the open dialogue gives them a platform to be heard.The programme will also focus on human rights and look to promote the representation of women in workers’ unions and leadership committees in the workplace. The success of the CDF model relies heavily on direct community participation and aims to embed the CDF open dialogue structure over three years, so that it out-lives the length of project and be implemented across the tea communities.