Empowering Tea Growing Communities in Indonesia

Addressing inequalities faced by women workers in West Java’s tea sector.

Applying the innovative Community Development Forum model to Indonesian tea

In Indonesia’s tea gardens, women represent a significant majority of the workforce, but mainly in the lowest paid tea plucking jobs.

Many have received little education, lack financial empowerment or bank accounts, and are discriminated against at work. Yet they have no other options available.

We are working with Yayasan CARE Peduli (YCP) to reach up to 1,400 tea workers in three Indonesian tea estates, with a special focus on women. This programme will help them help themselves through the creation of dedicated grassroots forums and support systems.

  • 2022-2025
  • Status: On-track

Project overview

Using Community Development Forums and VSLAs (models developed by CARE International) to help women tea workers claim fair opportunities.

Project partners

Twinings & Co. Ltd., Starbucks, Tazo

Tea picker in Indonesia

The goal of this initiative is to support the social and economic empowerment of Indonesia’s women tea workers. It focuses on temporary and permanently employed tea pluckers, who are both vulnerable to livelihood and equality challenges.

Building on the HOPE project funded by Starbucks Foundation and implemented by YCP, we are supporting work that will provide women across three tea estates in West Java with vital knowledge, skills, confidence, and tools.

Together, these will build their economic prospects, leadership abilities, and empower them within their workplaces, families, and communities.

We will address issues over three years by:

  • Piloting Community Development Forums to open dialogue between tea estate management, workers, and the wider community.
  • Providing leadership skills training to the community, particularly women.
  • Establishing VSLAs to support economic empowerment and improved incomes.
  • Improving local access to nutrition and water, sanitation, and hygiene services.

We will also promote the adaptation and replication of the successes of this approach across other tea plantations and companies in Indonesia.

The initiative is now underway and final proposals have been agreed by all funders.

Our baseline study is in progress, and our implementing partner, YCP, has started recruiting for its implementation.

We will continue to update this page as the initiative progresses.