Fairtrade Kenyan tea to the service of the whole community

Start Year:
Budget range (€):
Agriculture and Fishery
Environment and Energy
Type of Activity:
Budget Support, Donations
Training and Capacity Building
Institutional Building (i.e. advocacy, etc.)
Legal Framework and Policy Reform
CEDP Organisation: Lead Organisation(s):
The Co-operative Group
the co-operative group
fintea growers co-operative union
Co-operative College UK
the co-operative college kenya
Africa Now

Project Objectives

To build a better future for Kenyan tea farmers.


Latest info here: https://www.thenews.coop/120986/sector/retail/co-op-group-backs-kenyan-f...


Small-scale tea farmers face numerous challenges. The global price of tea is highly unstable and with only a small farm, individual growers often have no bargaining power to negotiate decent terms of trade. In a Department for International Development-supported project, 11,000 smallholder tea producers in Kenya are working together to address these challenges and build a better future for Kenyan tea farmers. Each partner brings a unique contribution in this cooperative-to-cooperative venture. The first stage of the project was to support the farmers as they form into five producer cooperatives. The farmers named the project “Kibagenge” or “coming together as one” in their local language. The producer cooperatives have since been formed and they are benefitting from economies of scale and being able to negotiate better terms when dealing with exporters. By forming into cooperatives, the producers buy their members’ tea to sell to Finlays and other markets, taking their business fully into their own hands. After forming into producer cooperatives, the next stage was for the cooperatives was to achieve Fairtrade certification in order to guarantee a minimum price for their tea and make them eligible to supply into The Co-operative Group’s ‘99’ Fairtrade tea blend. Fintea Growers Co-operative Union, which brings together these five producer cooperatives, achieved Fairtrade certification in 2012, and since then have supplied the ’99’ tea blend. At least 10% of ‘99’ tea is from Fintea. Receiving the Fairtrade premium means that the cooperative can invest in the community. In addition, the "Beyond Fairtrade" project has helped increase incomes by approximately 30%. At the start of the project, many of the farmers involved in the project were over-dependent on tea. An important aspect of the initiative has been to support them to diversify into other crops. 200 farmers have been able to diversify into crops like mange tout, green beans and garden peas. The Co-operative Group hope to bring these into their supply chain in the future. 



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