The civil society organisations – including workers and their representatives – that will come together as THIRST will independently and collaboratively work towards the goals listed below.

We invite tea buyers, packers, producers, traders, farmers and any other concerned stakeholders, including governments, to also commit to working towards these goals, and to engage with us so we can help achieve them. We believe that a joined-up approach from civil society will allow us to focus on the issues that are most important, offer the better support to industry, and enable greater and better impact together. We will offer support wherever possible, as well as challenging where we judge that change is possible but is being unnecessarily blocked through action or inaction.

Our efforts are focused in particular on the most vulnerable in the tea sector – the women and men working in tea estates or growing their own tea, and their families.

These goals are based on international human and labour rights frameworks including the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the UNICEF Children’s Rights and Business Principles, and the ILO conventions.

DECENT WORK AND LIVING INCOME (SDG1).i. Tea workers and farmers have a living wage or living income, and an enabling environment in which to obtain and maintain it, including effective freedom of association and collective bargaining, reasonable working hours, and purchasing and retailing practices that factor in the impact on wages/income and enable farmers to negotiate reasonable prices for their crop.
ii. Tea buyers, retailers and consumers understand and are willing to pay the price of producing tea in a way that enables living wages/incomes to be paid.iii. Workers and their families are able to determine independently how they want to shape their lives by reducing dependency on in-kind benefits, unless negotiated with their employers.
(SDG2).i. Tea workers, farmers, their families and communities have independent means to meets their nutritional needs, and access to sufficient nutrition.
ii. Tea workers on estates that are disinvested have timely and adequate assistance to enable them to access nutrition and healthcare in the short term and find alternative livelihoods in the long term.
(SDG8).i. Employment on tea estates is decent, regular and productive and provides opportunities for everyone in the community.
ii. Tea workers and farmers have access to freedom of association and collective bargaining (eg through trade unions or – for smallholders – cooperatives). We recognise that these are the enabling rights that would enable workers to negotiate wages and other terms and conditions.
iii. Employment on tea estates is freely chosen; workers are free from debt to their employers and have alternative employment opportunities.
iv. Children are not employed on tea estates or farms
v. Entrepreneurship and growth in tea growing areas are supported through innovative technology and diversification of crops and income sources.
GENDER EQUITY (SDG5).i. Women and men workers and farmers have equal opportunities and equal pay for equal work;
ii. Girls and women on estates and farms are safe from sexual discrimination, abuse and violence;
iii. Tea consumers understand and are willing to pay the price of producing tea in a way that enables women workers/farmers to be treated equally.
(SDG10). Gender discrimination and discrimination on tea estates and farms on the basis of caste, race, sexuality, migration status, age, religion etc. is prevented through education, legislation and effective human resources management.
CHILD PROTECTION AND DEVELOPMENT (SDG 8.7 & 5.3) Children on the estates are protected from all forms of violence and exploitation, including child labour, gender based violence, abuse, neglect, child marriage and unsafe migration

(SDG 4.1) .i Systemic drivers for children being out of school are addressed

ii. Children of tea workers and farmers have access to good quality education on or off site

iii. Tea buyers, retailers and consumers understand and are willing to pay the price of producing tea in a way that enables these children to be educated, supported and protected through to adulthood

(SDG 2.2) Children, and pregnant and lactating workers, have independent access to food that meetings their nutritional needs and supports healthy foetal and child development

HEALTH, SAFETY, HOUSING AND BENEFITS (SDG3).i. Tea workers, farmers and their families and communities have safe and healthy living and working conditions, and access to good quality health services on or off estate.

iii. Tea workers and farmers have adequate processes, information and protective gear to keep them safe from work-related health hazards, including using harmful chemicals, excessive working hours, carrying heavy loads etc.  
iv. Tea buyers, retailers and consumers understand and are willing to pay the price of producing tea in a way that enables safe and healthy work and living places for tea workers and farmers.

(SDG6). Tea workers, farmers and their families have access to clean water and good quality sanitation.
(SDG11).i. Tea estate workers and their families and communities have adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services on or off estate.
ii. Tea buyers, retailers and consumers understand and are willing to pay the price of producing tea in a way that enables workers and farmers to have decent housing.
PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT (SDG7).i. The tea industry explores, pilots and utilises affordable, clean energy solutions for tea production and transport;

ii. Workers and farmers are consulted as part of this process and involved in the planning of subsequent initiatives.
iii. Tea workers and farmers have access to affordable, clean energy solutions in their homes.

(SDG13). i. The tea industry improves education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning on its estates, farms and surrounding landscapes,
ii. Tea consumers understand and are willing to pay the price of producing tea in a way that protects the environment.
(SDG12). i. The tea industry seeks to achieve environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.
(SDG14). The tea industry seeks sustainable alternatives to plastic in the production of tea bags and other tea packaging
(SDG15). Those responsible for tea growing areas (including companies and governments) invest in the sustainable management of forests, the protection of wildlife and biodiversity and seek a balance between the needs of the tea production process and the needs of life on the land affected by tea.
FAIR, EFFECTIVE AND TRANSPARENT SYSTEMS (SDG12). ii. Large companies growing, buying and selling tea adopt sustainable practices and integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle

iii. Tea producers, retailers, brands, vendors, buyers and traders are transparent about their policies and practices relating to human rights and environmental protection.
iii. Tea consumers understand and are willing to pay the price of producing tea in a way that enables all these goals to be achieved.

(SDG9). The tea industry seeks, pilots and implements innovative approaches to growing, plucking, processing and distributing tea to support social and environmental sustainability.
(SDG16). i. Tea workers and farmers are represented by effective, accountable and transparent institutions – including trade unions – that protect their rights;
ii. They have access to fair and adequate judicial and non-judicial remedy if these rights are denied.
(SDG 4). i. Tea workers and farmers have access to training to enable them to take up alternative employment within or beyond the tea sector.
PARTNERSHIP AND COLLABORATION (SDG17). THIRST civil society associates will work together to challenge, support and work in partnership with the tea industry and other stakeholders to achieve these goals.