As the world’s population continues to grow, so does the demand for foods and beverages, which is putting a strain on our planet’s resources. Unsustainable farming practices cause soil degradation and as the eroded soil is carried off with rain or irrigation water, it can contaminate rivers, lakes and coastal areas nearby. With , and other Unilever products, we’re taking measures to protect the environment beyond farming practices.
For instance, Lipton® has transformed its packaging in recent years, reducing waste by more than 7 - 12% on several products by minimizing the carton size and removing individual envelopes on tea bags.
But before the tea can get to the bag, it has to be farmed – and that farming has to be done sustainably to maintain the industry’s future. In Turkey, the world’s fifth largest tea producer, global warming is already affecting production and saw a 15% drop in annual income for tea producers and manufacturers in 2013 due to frost and heavy rain. "If there's no tea," one woman tea picker tells us, "there's no living."
As part of our commitment to sourcing 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, Unilever has partnered with the , an international non-profit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods for millions of farmers around the world. In partnership with the Rainforest Alliance, we help ensure farmers and smallholders are able to face global challenges and secure a sustainable future for generations.
Already, in the United States, 100% of Lipton® Tea found in tea bags is sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms. Rainforest Alliance certification isn’t just a label: It promotes safer and fairer working conditions, environmental protection and economic sustainability. Many smallholders and farmers have seen better yields and their incomes have increased by 35%. This doesn’t just mean more money to spend on food and necessities – it means better health and education for their families.
In the fight against climate change, we must come together to make a difference. There’s much more that goes into choosing your tea in the store aisle – it can help make a positive difference to the lives of tea farmers worldwide. By choosing Lipton®, PG Tips® and other Unilever tea brands, you’re already doing your part toward making a #brightFuture.