Rainforest Alliance Certified Seal to Appear on Tetley Tea

February 18, 2010

London -- Tea took another industry-changing leap towards sustainability today as the Rainforest Alliance announced that Tetley, the world's second largest tea company, has committed to sourcing all of its tea for its Tetley brand worldwide from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms.

Currently, 75 million cups of Tetley tea are consumed globally each day. The company's commitment to buying from Rainforest Alliance Certified tea farms will benefit both the environment and the lives of the tea farmers and workers on a large scale.

All Tetley branded tea bags and loose tea for black, green and red (Rooibos) tea, including flavored and decaffeinated varieties, will be part of the certification program, which is scheduled for completion by 2016.

Speaking about today's announcement, Tensie Whelan, Rainforest Alliance president said: "The tea industry has faced many challenges, from declining prices to poor farming and environmentally damaging practices. The Rainforest Alliance certification program assists farmers in addressing these issues and in reaching new value-added markets as well as focusing on improving productivity and significantly improving their quality of life.

"We are delighted with Tetley's huge commitment, which will help meet the demand for sustainability that the environment and tea farmers need and consumers obviously want," Whelan added.

All farms that are Rainforest Alliance Certified have met the environmental, social and economic standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). The SAN standards cover ecosystem conservation, worker rights and safety, wildlife protection, water and soil conservation, agrochemical reduction, decent housing, and legal wages and contracts for workers.

Tea Field

The Rainforest Alliance began working with tea farmers in 2006 and is now active in Kenya, Tanzania, Argentina, India and Indonesia. Today 215,000 acres (87,000 hectares) are Rainforest Alliance Certified, producing 125,000 tonnes of tea and benefiting 170,000 tea workers and their families. Recently 38,000 tea smallholders in Kenya achieved Rainforest Alliance certification.

The Rainforest Alliance works closely with the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), of which Tetley is a member. The collaboration between the Rainforest Alliance and the ETP aims to build capacity within the tea industry to tackle sustainability issues from the grassroots upwards and through to certification.

Peter Unsworth, CEO of the Tata Beverage Group, owner of the Tetley brand, said, "Our consumers will be able to enjoy their favorite Tetley blend knowing it has been produced in a way that respects the environment and the tea growers and pickers. We are delighted to be working with the Rainforest Alliance and the Sustainable Agriculture Network who are well positioned to support a brand with the scale and reach of Tetley."

The first Tetley products to carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal will be available for the United Kingdom foodservice channel in early 2010. Products will then become more widely available in the United Kingdom and Canada early in 2011, followed by launches in other key markets including the United States, Australia and mainland Europe from 2012.