A thirst for sustainability
Unilever reaches an important milestone in its quest for sustainable tea production as eight tea estates in India gain Rainforest Alliance Certified status.
Long term benefits
Eight independent tea estates in the Nilgiri Hills of South India have become the latest of Unilever's suppliers to achieve Rainforest Alliance Certified™ status
This is the most recent step in Lipton's journey towards sourcing all the tea for its tea bags from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms, a goal the brand aims to achieve by 2015.
The tea estates, which cover about 3,000 hectares, gained Rainforest Alliance certification by reducing waste and pesticide use, conserving soil quality, protecting wildlife, and paying employees a fair wage.
The benefits are being felt by around 3,500 employees and their families, to whom the estates provide free healthcare, housing, childcare and education.
Truly green tea
The environment is another focus. The region's unique wildlife habitats are allowed to flourish, while a partnership with the recycling industry ensures best-practice waste management.
"Ultimately, two million people around the world could benefit from Unilever's commitment to the high standards of welfare and environmental protection which Rainforest Alliance certification ensures," says Michiel Leijnse, who leads Lipton's partnership with the Rainforest Alliance.
The Rainforest Alliance is an independent, international environmental organisation with over 20 years' experience in developing and promoting sustainable standards in farming.