At Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), we are driven by our passion for coffee & tea, respect for the environment, and care for people.
It is for this reason JDE joined the Malawi Tea 2020 program which has been an innovative instrument to advance sustainability, and strengthen the long-term engagement with our key suppliers in a continuous cycle of improvement. We strongly believe that greater impact for the tea sector is best achieved by working together with key stakeholders – motivated farmers, tea estates, exporters, civil society and relevant government authorities. The Malawi Tea 2020 program has been the first of its kind in the tea sector and while the objective of reaching a living wage for tea workers is still far from being achieved due to various factors such as oversupply of tea, volatile market prices as well as including the fact that this one country approach could make the Malawi as an origin uncompetitive in the long term.
Malawi has been and continues to be an important origin for JDE with tea being one of Malawi’s most important industries and source of livelihood for thousands of workers and smallholders. For over 10 years we have had consistent contracts with our main suppliers in Malawi and have built long-term supplier relationships that have been driven by mutual values, supply chain efficiency and ultimately win-win partnerships. Under the Malawi Tea 2020 Program, we as JDE, ensured that the Malawi producers we continue to partner with received a fair value of the tea traded by contributing additional value based on the Sustainable Procurement Model developed for the programme in order to bridge the living wage gap as identified under the Anchors’ report and have continued to prioritize Malawi as a key tea origin. Also, we continuously explore the opportunity to include speciality teas from Malawi to be a part of the JDE portfolio and create further value for the producers and the value chain as a whole. Our commitment goes beyond the duration of the program which ends in 2020, this includes the long term commercial relationships with our key suppliers and JDE will continue to support Malawi as a key origin in the future.