Ethical Tea Partnership, Oxfam, IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative


Malawi Tea 2020 Revitilazation Programme


Malawi is the world’s seventh poorest country. Although tea sector jobs are considered good, paying more than the Malawi average and providing a range of benefits, living standards for tea workers are still poor. Smallholder tea farmers in Malawi also struggle to make sufficient income to provide well for their families. Tea estates in Malawi are the second largest employer in the formal sector directly employing over 50,000 workers and providing livelihoods to more than 14,000 smallholders. Wages for tea workers fall short of the living wage benchmark.

  • A living income is the income (in cash and in-kind) sufficient to meet the basic needs of the income earner and his/her family including some discretionary income

The Project

  • Supply Chain Commitment to Living Wages on Tea Plantations and Living Income on Smallholder Farms in Malawi by 2020
  • A joint approach to achieving living wages is needed where stakeholders including brands, retailers, suppliers, manufacturers, trade unions, governments, NGOs work together
  • Support along the supply chain for a tea revitilzation programme that will improve the economic competitiveness of the industry (improved quality, productivity)


Expected Outcomes:

  • An industry that is investing in its future and its workforce
  • Improvements in wages and benefits to ensure a living wage for all workers
  • Improvements in smallholder farming practices, yields, quality and income and income diversification
  • A healthier, motivated and productive workforce, with greater opportunities for women
  • An improved wage-setting process with greater worker representation




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5 Years


2015 - 2020



Areas of work

  • equality-of-people-icon@2x.pngEquality of people
  • prosperity-of-farmers-icon@2x.pngProsperity of farmers

Project themes

  • Gender and youth equality.pngGender and Youth Inclusivity
  • Working conditions.pngWorking Conditions
  • Farm management.pngFarm Management
  • diversification.pngDiversification