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Twinings and UNICEF – 10 years together

As part of our Sourced with Care programme, Twinings works to empower women and young people through health and education. When women and young people thrive, so do the people around them and their wider society. We are so proud to have been working with UNICEF to help thousands of young people flourish for the past 10 years.

At Twinings, we source a lot of our tea from Assam, a state in north-eastern India, where tea leaves are famous for their strong and malty taste. Through our Sourced with Care programme, we have been working with UNICEF in Assam since 2010 to improve young peoples’ health, life skills and advance child protection structures. 

Girls and young women living on tea estates are vulnerable to a range of child protection issues, including abuse, child marriage, poor school attendance, high dropout rates, and child trafficking. The Twinings and UNICEF partnership works with Adolescent Groups, Mothers’ Groups and Child Protection Committees to create a safe platform for important issues to be discussed and life skills to be learnt. Our work also focuses on nutrition and its effects: anaemia is common due to poor diet, leading to low learning levels, malnutrition and high maternal and infant mortality rates.

So far, 145 Adolescent Groups have been formed and our partnership has reached over 34,000 adolescent girls, through nutrition, empowerment and protection interventions. This project has also seen a 21% decline in the prevalence of anaemia following community-based interventions on nutrition, such as distribution of Iron Folic Acid and the development of kitchen gardens. Our project started with just 15 tea gardens, this has now expanded to over 60, meaning a population of 350,000 people will be able to benefit from this life-changing work.

“I am extremely honoured to have been part of the project from the beginning and to have seen first-hand the positive changes we are making for many adolescent girls living on tea gardens in Assam, from knowledge about their rights, to increase self-confidence and better health outcomes. Our partnership with UNICEF has been inspiring and ground-breaking and has led to others in the industry following up, which is a real success!” 

Celine Gilart, Global Head of Social Impact, Twinings.

The work we have done on behaviour change and infrastructure improvements over the last 10 years have created a ripple effect throughout the community, especially around WASH, Child Protection and Nutrition, meaning that the communities are in a better place to cope with the current coronavirus pandemic thanks to the improved community structures, efficiently disseminating information and preventing circulation of false information on coronavirus. Looking ahead, we are pleased to be expanding the programme to engage with boys in the tea gardens. UNICEF will continue to work closely with the government to make sure that children’s voices are heard, and their needs are prioritised across the tea estates.

We support young people in our agricultural supply chains so that they can act on choices they make, are protected from violence and harassment, and have equal access to opportunities and better health. By doing so, we aim to contribute to a virtuous circle where the next generation is better equipped with the right tools to fight poverty and prevent diseases.

We would like to extend a special thanks to UNICEF, for all your hard work and determination over the past decade. Together we will continue to drive positive change in the tea industry.

Find out more about Twinings’ Sourced with Care programme.

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