This week is Follow The Frog week and for us teapigs that means we celebrate all the wonderful work of the Rain Forest Alliance.

The Rain Forest Alliance is very important to us and we are working towards all of our teas being RFA certified.  We’re really proud that the Rwandan black tea (it’s called Pfunda) in our Everyday Brew is RFA certified and the Pfunda estate is the very first estate in Rwanda to be RFA certified.

What does this mean?

Pfudna grows top-knotch quality tea which all us guys love but being RFA certified goes so much further than just the quality.  It benefits all aspects from working conditions to improvements to services throughout the local area. The tea estate has been certified since February 2011 – here are some of the benefits it’s brought to the village and the surrounding region:

  • Over 43,000 native trees have been planted along the roads and tea plantation.  This is great news for the wildlife and eco-system.
  • Over 11 hectares of local land have been set aside as wildlife conservation areas and a fuel wood management programme has been set up to ensure that the harvest trees remains sustainable
  • Good environmental practises have been implemented such as the prevention of soil erosion and the use of efficient fertiliser.
  • Pollution reduction by providing separate waste pits for biodegradable and  non-biodegradable waste.
  • Pfunda Tea have been able to set up a state of the art wastewater treatment facility
  • Regular river bank protection work has been undertaking to protect farmland and public roads
  • Housing for workers has been greatly improved as has the social amenities like staff clubs and playground for the children
  • Safety programmes have been implemented to ensure good training and awareness in hygiene and in operating machinery. Emergency response has been improved and the plantation is equipped with first aid boxes and a dedicated nurse
  • Clean drinking water and improved toilets and sanitation available to all workers
  • Education standards have improved, such as knowledge of the safe use of agrochemicals
  • Classrooms in the surrounding area have been built
  • Internships for local students have been provided
  • Roads and bridges near the plantation have been able to be repaired
  • Active support of the Noel Orphanage (which is opposite the plantation). Remember as well that between 5p and 15p from every pack of Everyday Brew we sell goes to Noel, so thank you!
  • Helping spread awareness of HIV prevention and family planning to the community
  • Donating to the AGACIRO fund which is working towards a better future for Rwanda as a whole

As you can see, the Rainforest Alliance goes so much beyond good quality tea leaves and we’re so proud to be a part of it and making a difference.