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As one of the largest producers and consumers of tea, India is at the center of the global tea industry.

Over years, the tea sector in the country has changed considerably with the emergence of small tea growers and bought leaf factories, which are tea processing factories to which the small growers sell their production. This structure of the industry also led to several sustainability challenges in the sector, including working conditions, health and well-being of plantation workers and poor quality of tea.

trustea is an Indian sustainability code and verification system for the tea sector, which addresses some of these challenges. The Code enables producers, buyers and others involved in Indian tea businesses to obtain tea that has been produced according to agreed, credible, transparent and measurable criteria

Trustea’s Impact

trustea Code encompasses all aspects of tea manufacturing and supports sustainability across the chain by improving productivity, quality and maintaining safety standards. It supports smallholders and estates in improving the competitiveness of tea gardens by positively influencing the practices and scale of production, farm organization, processing, new technologies and supply chain development.

trustea’s area of work

Our History

  • 2013

    trustea programme launched in July – concurrent to this launch,trustea Secretariat established

    IDH, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) & Tata Consumer Products Limited (TCPL) were the program founding funders

    First entity verified in November as a pilot project.


  • 2014

    Detailed implementation guides, audit protocols and farm diaries developed

  • 2016

    Verification milestone of first 100 million KGs crossed

  • 2017

    Wagh Bakri Group (GTPPL) came on board as a program funder 

    20,000 STGs engaged within two years of formal implementation 

    System assurance audit process commenced to ensure standardization and improved compliance of audit assessments

  • 2019

    trustea Sustainable Tea Foundation incorporated in May

    Multi stakeholder trustea Sustainable Tea Council formed in September

    tracetea app for traceability piloted in November

    48% of Indian tea is trustea verified in December 2019

  • 2020

    trustea Impact Report was developed and published

    696 million KGs tea verified (approx. 56% of India’s production)

    ISO 9001:2015 certified

  • 2021

    trustea becomes the only domestic Agri-commodity sustainability standard to become a ISEAL Community Member

    trustea verified 101 million KGS (approx. 60% of India’s production) in the year 2021

    Launched web based trustea Code Management System (TCMS)

  • 2022

    tracetea app successfully piloted with 31 companies actively using it

    20,000 small tea growers using our tracetea Farm Diaries to record daily transactions

    868 million kgs of tea verified

IT Initiative

Program Partners

Implementation Partners

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