With ETP recently becoming a member of the United Nations based Better Than Cash Alliance, ETP’s Executive Director Jenny Costelloe and Regional Director (Africa) Liberal Seburikoko are interviewed about this new partnership.
1. Why is the Ethical Tea Partnership joining the Better Than Cash Alliance?
Jenny Costelloe: Our work at the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) is centered around improving the lives and livelihoods of tea workers and farmers so that we have a thriving tea industry that is socially just and environmentally sustainable. We work hand in hand with the private sector, governments, and civil society to overcome some of the complex issues farmers and tea workers face.
We are joining the United Nations-based Better Than Cash Alliance (the Alliance) because there is clear evidence that responsible digital payments help promote growth, boost productivity, and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and tea estate employees in the supply chain. Moving away from cash helps advance the Sustainable Development Goals.
Our membership to the Alliance signifies a strong commitment to support ongoing digitisation initiatives in the tea sector, ensuring responsible practices are followed. Crucially, we’re prioritising that women, who make up most of the tea workers and farmers, can fully reap the benefits of digital financial inclusion.
2. How does this partnership fit into ETP’s Strategy2030 for a thriving tea industry that is socially just and environmentally sustainable?
Jenny: This partnership is aligned with the vision of Strategy2030. Our focus is working with companies to create transformational change for tea communities as we address the most pressing issues under three impact domains: economics, environment and equality.
One of the foundations of this strategy is a deep belief that sharing best practices and learnings is core to successfully deliver projects, business pilots and impact policy development within the countries. Through the research with the Alliance, ETP is well-positioned to disseminate knowledge on how digitising payments can benefit both companies and tea workers, but more importantly how to deliver this responsibly and at scale for the tea industry.
3. How do you see digital payments improving the lives of women in the tea sector?
Liberal Seburikoko: Women make up a large proportion of the workforce in many tea growing countries and wage payments are often made in cash.
Workers who receive cash payments are often part of the 1.7 billion excluded from the formal financial sector.