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Supporting a good life for workers and their families

How much difference does working on a farm with a fair trade certification make to a farmer’s life? We went to India to meet the farmers who supply the green tea in our Supreme Matcha Green to find out.

The Tea Promoters India (TPI) estate lies in a beautiful valley, surrounded by jungle and river with clean air and water, plentiful wildlife and a perfect climate.

What we found was a beacon of sustainable and regenerative agriculture:

  • It’s the only estate in the region that is certified both organic and Fairtrade.
  • A community of more than 1,000 permanent workers, and more than 7,000 people, including children, live on the estate
  • There are schools and nurseries near the estate and a school bus, paid for by the fair trade premium, transports the children to and from school back to their homes every day.
  • An onsite pharmacy can organise ambulances to the nearest big hospital 30 minutes away. 
  • Electricity comes from a 100 kW water turbine in the river, and there are solar lights throughout.
  • The estate makes compost from cow dung which they purchase from the local villagers, providing them with a significant source of income.
  • They employ a team of ‘pest spotters’ who patrol the garden looking for pests and manually picking them from the bushes. Pickers are also incentivised to report pests – the best pest- spotters win a cash prize at an award ceremony each year.
  • One of their estates has an experimental profit-share model in which profits are shared 50/50 between workers and management. All of the estates are moving towards worker-managed structures so that the workers are empowered to make decisions on how the estates are run.

Local representatives told us that they had used the Fairtrade community premium to improve medical facilities and water distribution, install more solar lamps and to pay for a school bus for high school age children.

A lot of the workers we spoke to said that the living and working conditions were far better than usual for the local area. We continue to monitor the projects we fund through our Fair for Life premium with visits like this.

So you know that every cup of Pukka tea is supporting a good life for workers and their families.

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