At the time, the Tea Sourcing Partnership’s approach was groundbreaking; there was limited experience with social and environmental standards in the sector, and the primary objective was to raise these by introducing supplier audits. As the membership grew, the organisation became the Ethical Tea Partnership.
However, audits are diagnostic tools, and alone they are not enough to address the fundamental issues that are impeding tea’s sustainability. In parallel to the Ethical Tea Partnership’s work, the global, multi-commodity certification industry was growing, with brands such as Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance gaining wider recognition than the Ethical Tea Partnership. The organisation evolved to implement projects in producing countries. and stopped supplier audits in 2019.
2020 was a pivotal point for ETP, as we developed our new strategy and shifted our entire focus to achieving long-term systemic change in tea, setting in motion the recent exciting developments for the organisation,.