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02 juni 2007

Unilever will source its tea from sustainable producers

The certification of Rainforest Alliance comprises standards on environment, ethics and economics. Rainforest Alliance has experience in certifying coffee, bananas and other tropical fruits, forestry and tourism, and is now moving into certifying tea farms. The first tea estate to be audited will be in Kenya, where Unilever owns plantations in Kericho. Other tea farms in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Indonesia, India, Argentina and Sri Lanka will follow, with the potential of eventually improving the livelihoods of around two million people across three continents. "It will not be achieved overnight, but we are committed to doing it because we believe it is the right thing to do for the people who drink our tea, the people along the entire length of our supply chain and for our business," Patrick Cescau stated.
Rainforest Alliance executive director Tensie Whelan commended Unilever at the launch of this new partnership. "We are delighted to be working with a company that understands the value of putting sustainability at the heart of its business." he said.
Unilever processes about 12 percent of the global production of black tea. Famous brands are Lipton and PG Tips. The first certified tea will be made available to European consumers from August 2007. Unilever aims to have all Lipton Yellow Label and PG Tips tea bags sold in Western Europe certified by 2010 and all Lipton tea bags sold globally by 2015.
One aim of the certification program is to enable growers to obtain higher prices for their tea, raising their incomes and enabling them to achieve a better quality of life and standard of living on a sustainable basis. Unilever expects that Rainforest Alliance Certified tea will command prices 10 to 15 percent higher than current average prices paid at auction and estimates that farmers will receive around €2 million more for their tea by 2010 and around €5 million more by 2015.
P+ webtip: Rainforest Alliance and Unilever
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