How to mitigate to climate change in the tea sector(1) (en)

29 abril 2014
ITC Noticias

Climate change is having a significant impact on the tea sector. Increasing temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and increased frequency of extreme weather events are affecting both the quality and quantity of tea produced. Furthermore consumers, particularly from developed economies are demanding environmental friendly and low carbon products. Although this provides an opportunity to increase efficiency in the supply chain, it also results in higher costs and greater technical requirements which small and medium enterprises have difficulties complying with.

ITC in partnership with Ethical Tea Partnership, Rainforest Alliance and FLO-Cert have developed a manual that provides steps and resources to support the tea sector in addressing climate change mitigation and lower green-house gas emissions. The manual is divided into three main parts aimed at tea factory management, tea farmers and advice on the measurement of carbon footprint of tea production.

The manual was piloted in Chinga Tea factory, a Kenya Tea Development factory in Central Province. Currently 9000 smallholder tea farmers supply Chinga and are the main shareholders. ITC trained staff on the manual and developed an action plan. The implementation of the manual led to:

- Decline in energy costs from 8.08 Kenya shillings (Ksh) in December 2012, to 6.04 Ksh in December 2013,
- Higher machine efficiency as a result of purchasing new motors with better performance,
- Better practices for storing and using fire wood which has led to higher calorific value of the wood, as well as lower costs for firewood to produce one kg of tea.

The next phase of this project will include training additional factories in Kenya as well as scaling to Uganda’s tea sector. The manual will aim to help East Africa’s tea factories mitigate climate risks and reduce emissions.

Learn more? Watch video on Kenyan tea farmers experience on how to address climate change.