For tea and coffee company, Taylors of Harrogate, sustainability is central to its sourcing approach and its commitment to CarbonNeutral® sourcing by 2020 is a critical part of the plan. To meet the CarbonNeutral goal, the business has taken an innovative approach to supporting its tea suppliers in Kenya, with a long term commitment to a community reforestation project that will not only plant trees, but also deliver critical livelihood benefits to the tea growing communities.

With a target of planting one million trees in 10 years around four key tea supply areas in the Central Highlands region of the country, the project will need to recruit 3,700 tea farmers to participate over the next five years.  One year into the programme, Taylors is already over halfway to its recruitment target, with 1,913 tea farmers engaged and more than 32,000 trees planted.  The farmers participate in monthly meetings to share best practice and receive training on conservation framing and alternative crops and products to improve food security and develop new income streams.

In order to receive carbon finance from Taylors the project is committed to regular monitoring, reporting and verification of trees planted, growth and carbon sequestration.  It is validated and verified to the Verified Carbon Standard and the Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard, both of which require independent verification of the results.

To find out more about Taylors of Harrogate’s supply base resilience programme, read this recent article published by The Crowd and watch a video about the programme following a recent visit to Kenya.

Simon Hotchkin, Head of Sustainable Development at Taylors of Harrogate, and Simon Brown, European Managing Director at Natural Capital Partners, will be talking about the programme and its results at the Sustainable Development in the Food and Beverage Industry conference in Berlin next week.

If you’d like to attend the conference, you can find more details here. If you aren’t able to attend, please follow us on Twitter for live conference highlights, and keep an eye on our website for our key takeaways from the session.