HUL partners with Tea Research Association for sustainable tea industry

Addressing challenges posed by climate change  

HUL partners with TRA for sustainable tea industry

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has announced its partnership with the Tea Research Association (TRA) Tocklai, one of the oldest and largest tea research associations globally, to address the challenges posed by climate change to the tea industry. 

HUL is one of the leading manufacturers of tea with household brands such as Brooke Bond Red Label, Taj Mahal and Taaza in its Foods & Refreshment portfolio. Through this collaboration, HUL aims to improve resilience and sustainability of the tea industry by promoting regenerative agricultural practices, the company said in a release posted on its website.

Various factors such as the sensitive nature of the tea crop, local weather patterns and changes due to uneven rainfall, water, soil erosion, etc., can lead to challenges in growing the crop. HUL, along with TRA, will conduct a detailed ‘Lifecycle Analysis’ for Indian tea and will devise strategies that can help reduce carbon impact across the value chain. Basis the data, the partnership will work with experts to develop suitable mitigation and adaption strategies that can be implemented across the Tea industry.

Through this study, relevant information and data will also be made available for policy makers to support their understanding of the nuances and create enabling policies to support the transition towards a sustainable, low-carbon production system. The tea industry is already seeing the social, environmental, and economic impacts of climate change. While several climate change adaptation measures have been implemented using private and public finance, the mitigation space remains largely untouched.

An HUL spokesperson said, “Through this study, an attempt will be made to calculate the carbon footprint for tea estates. This will help businesses make informed decisions about how best to manage their carbon impact and where the biggest return on investment in carbon mitigating activities can be achieved. Additionally, large tea estates will be able to adopt suitable mitigation strategies to achieve low carbon tea production. This, in turn, will also help manufacturers to address the needs of climate-conscious consumers in India and abroad.”

Currently, the scope of the project aims to cover 19 tea estates/factories and 19 small tea growers covering all the major tea growing regions of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. The project aims to benefit around 15,000 hectares of land.

With this new partnership, HUL seeks to not only support the tea industry in India, but also ensure that the tea it manufactures is good for the consumers, planet, and communities who depend on the tea value chain.


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