Aiming to encourage sustainable agriculture in the tea sector, Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) which is working in the areas of water resource management, livelihood promotion, healthcare, women empowerment, and rural development, recently, announced its association with Trustea Sustainable Tea Foundation. The association aims to transform and introduce a large number of producers to the trustea program in West Bengal, which will catalyse the process of enhancing sustainability in the tea industry and enhancing the livelihood of small tea growers and tea garden workers.
With this collaboration, ACF has entered into a new region for promoting eco-friendly tea production and added a new crop support to its agriculture portfolio as well. An MoU in this regard was signed between ACF and trustea for an on-field implementation of the sustainable farming program on an immediate basis. Along with promoting sustainable agricultural practices to improve productivity and reduce costs, the tea garden program also aims to ensure the future security of tea supply in India and to protect the ecosystems whilst improving the quality of life for small tea growers and workers.
Trustea Sustainable Tea Foundation is a not-for-profit company promoting and facilitating the sustainable transformation of the Indian tea supply chain based on globally accepted sustainability principles and practices. Putting light on the partnership Rajesh Bhuyan, Director, Trustea Sustainable Tea Foundation said, “Trustea program has been working on sustainability in tea production in India with active support from program partners viz IDH – the sustainable trade initiative, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), Tata Global Beverages (TGBL) and Gujarat Tea Producers and Packers (GTPP)”.
Excited to enter into the new territory, Ms. Pearl Tiwari, CEO, Ambuja Cement Foundation said, “We are closely working towards the nation’s commitment to achieve its sustainable goals. The collaboration with trustea will further strengthen our sustainable agriculture mission and support tea growers and tea garden workers in the tea growing areas of West Bengal to adopt environment-friendly sustainable farming.”
In order to achieve the aim to reach the targeted volumes of sustainably produced tea, ACF will advise and provide on ground services for tea estates and small-holder farmers to achieve sustainable transformation and improve their competitiveness in line with the goals of the trustea program. “Under this program, we would help make tea cultivation a sustainable source of income for small- holders and create improved market access for tea growers. This program will help them improve the quality of their lives,” Ms. Tiwari added. ACF will also facilitate the use of the tracetea app to provide a digital traceability feature to the stakeholders.
Started in 2013, the trustea initiative is a collaborative program for promoting sustainable agricultural practices in the Indian tea supply chain. Trustea has given a grant to ACF for implementation of this project. Trustea will also develop training material, provide training personnel, coordinate and monitor and evaluate the project at various stages.
Ambuja Cement Foundation as part of its agro-based livelihood program works to increase agricultural productivity by nurturing farmers to enhance their profitability – striving for sustainable agriculture & rural livelihoods. ACF empowers farmers with knowledge and encourages them to support one another, bargain collectively, facilitate the bulk purchase of inputs, and market their produce.