We are proud that all Birchall black teas carry the Green Frog Seal which means they are certified by the Rainforest Alliance and grown in a way that helps protect the environment and farm workers and their families.
In February 2011, Pfunda, the Rwandan tea estate from which we source much of our black tea, became the country’s first Rainforest Alliance Certified™ tea estate. It is an achievement we are extremely proud of, especially as the stringent and specific set of criteria balancing ecological, economic and social considerations were met in only 9 months.
Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance said, "We are delighted that Rwanda’s Pfunda Tea Estate has become the first tea plantation in Rwanda to earn Rainforest Alliance certification… Pfunda Tea Estate has demonstrated its commitment to conserving the environment and improving the lives of farm workers, their families and the local community."
Pfunda was commended by the Rainforest Alliance after their most recent certification audit.
Their report concluded:
- The management of the company is so committed and passionate about Rainforest Alliance certification, as witnessed during the audit.
- It is visibly clear that the company does not conduct business as usual but has adopted a new way of doing things.
Ecosystem conservation and wildlife protection
- Implementation of a documented ecosystem program: planting of indigenous trees in the factory and the catchment areas.
- A well documented fuel wood management program to ensure sustainable harvesting of trees for fuel.
- Identification of existing wildlife in the area, dedication and establishment of wildlife conservation area in the sectors.
Fair treatment and working conditions
- Very good housing facilities for workers, including social amenities like a staff club, children’s playgrounds and a community basketball court.
- Very good relations with farmers and the neighbouring community.
- Community projects and assistance with community development projects like building schools and water provision.
- Involvement of community in conservation education programs e.g tree planting activities.
- Supporting children’s orphanage, offers internships.
We are extremely proud of the approach taken at Pfunda which shows it is possible to grow and produce outstanding tea in a socially responsible way.