A sustainability code and verification system for the country’s tea sector Tuesday said it has verified 608 million kgs of tea till February 2019, which is almost half of the total tea produced in the country annually. The program – trustea is currently convened by IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative and supported by Indian packaged tea majors Hindustan Unilever Limited, Tata Global Beverages Limited and Wagh Bakri Tea Group. It is working with smallholder tea growers, bought leaf factories, estates and packers to address some of the key challenges in the industry including poor working conditions, health and safety of tea workers, water pollution, food safety, soil erosion and contamination, trustea said in a statement.
It has been trying create a positive impact on nearly 49,000 smallholder tea growers, three lakh women workers and 2.5 lakh male tea workers certifying over 460 estates and bought leaf factories. “A rising demand for food safety and sustainable produce is making trustea increasingly relevant to the Indian context. The code ensures long-term sustainability of the industry,” trustea general manager Rajesh Bhuyan said. The company, he said, has verified 608 million kgs of tea out of the total 1325 million kg, or 46 per cent of the beverage produced in the country annually till February 2019.