Forest Garden Tea Project
The Forest Garden Tea Project was founded by Both ENDS in close collaboration with public and private partners (including the Sri Lankan NGO Rainforest Rescue International, a large tea plantation in Sri Lanka, ProFound Consultancies and the Netherlands Ministry of Development Cooperation.) The project gives tea plantations and small tea producing companies their rainforest setting back. The tea varieties grown there will get the label 'beyond organic', which means that the tea was not only produced organically, but that factors like biodiversity and CO2 emissions were also criteria for certification. Not only does this lead to more responsible tea production, but it creates a cleaner environment and a better standard of living in terms of economic and social projects for labourers on the plantation and the local small scale farmers.
The tea agro-ecosystem in Sri Lanka is shifting, resulting in a loss of biodiversity and soil stability. It also reduces the quality of drinking water and impacts people's means of support. The social effects are especially felt by labourers on tea plantations, small tea farmers and communities in flood areas.
The partnership was founded in the form of a commercial model company. This company focuses on the problems that the tea plantation sector faces in trying to implement a sustainable tea ecosystem. In addition, the company promotes biodiversity and the management of natural resources in Sri Lanka and other tea producing countries. The tea produced as a result is a new type of organic product. One that is not only produced without dangerous chemicals and fertilizer, but that also grew in an ecosystem that strongly resembles the original vegetation. This is achieved using the Analog Forestry Method.
Planting a combination of tree varieties and plants that are economically viable also provides an extra source of income to local farmers and plantation workers. This method was originally called Forest Gardens in Sri Lanka, which is why the products from these 'forest gardens' are called Forest Garden Products (FGPs). These products are FGP certified and will be offered in the higher segments of the international market.
This project also improves the quality of life of the surrounding communities. Finally, it contributes to the improvement and sale of tea products through a cooperation agreement of small FGP tea producers.
ROLE OF BOTH ENDS
Both ENDS brought the project partners together, coordinated the development of the project proposal and helped establish contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Partnerships between NGOs, CBOs, governments and multinationals is a relatively new phenomenon. Within the partnership, every organisation has its own interests and has to give itself a clear role. Both ENDS plays the role of intermediary - without losing sight of its own goals. In addition, Both ENDS is raising awareness about the restoration of biodiversity through Analog Forestry and FGP certified products with the market and policy makers.
BOTH ENDS CONTACTPERSONS
Maaike Hendriks projectmanager