Working with IDH (Sustainable Trade Initiative) and Tata Global Beverages (Tetley tea), the Ethical Tea Partnershop (ETP) is working to reduce the problem of malnutrition among tea workers in Uganda.
The land in the west of the country, near the Congolese border, is almost all planted with tea bushes and the communities that work there are quite isolated and malnutrition is a real issue. A report by USAID entitled ‘The Analysis of the Nutrition Situation in Uganda’ (May 2010) said, “While at the national level Uganda currently produces sufficient food to meet the needs of its rapidly growing population, the proportion of Ugandans unable to access adequate calories increased from 59% in 1999 to 69% in 2006. The persistent high rates of malnutrition in Uganda also attest to this reality: 38% of children under 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition (stunting), 16% from underweight, and 6% from acute malnutrition.”
So ETP has developed a training manual with Uganda Action for Nutrition, explaining the concept of a balanced diet, linking nutrition to wider health matters, and also covering basic hygiene practices. ETP staff have also trained estate personnel on the materials so that they can use this knowledge in their interactions with workers and the smallholder farmers that supply the estates.
A total of 72 worker leaders from 65 different housing groups were trained in vegetable growing, they passed on their new skills to other tea workers and their families, and by the end of 2014, 380 kitchen gardens had been set up with seeds distributed by the ETP. The success of the programme has prompted ETP to roll it out in other countries soon.