Unilever is the largest seller of tea in the world, producing tea from our estates in East Africa as well as buying from third parties, including smallholders, and on the world market. Because tea is grown in some of the most beautiful and bio-diverse parts of the planet, unsustainable tea-growing can have serious impact on habitat, water quality and soil retention.
Our large estates in Tanzania and Kenya make tea a raw material in which we have particular expertise, and we have already taken the opportunity to promote sustainability within the areas that we control.
Unilever has established a global initiative to source 100% of our tea leaves from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms by 2015. It’s great for the planet, and great for the farmers, their families, and their communities.
In the US, we are near to reaching our target with 90% of our tea portfolio containing tea leaves sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms.
The Rainforest Alliance is an independent organization that works with individuals, communities and companies whose livelihoods depend on the land. Rainforest Alliance certification is built on three pillars of sustainability:
The organization works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.
While we purchase tea from many farms to ensure an adequate supply, our commitment to Rainforest Alliance certification began on our own tea estates in 2006. Since then, the farms, communities, workers and their families are thriving. Furthermore, these sustainable practices help to improve soil quality, resulting in healthy crops for the farmers and tasty, high quality tea for you.Learn more about our Rainforest Alliance Certified™ tea estate in Kericho, Kenya
Menuing Lipton® teas that carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal of approval is a great way to show you care about the world and how the products you serve are produced.
¹ Technomic, American Express Market Brief, Sept. 2 2010
² Monitor 2010: United States Market Brief