Healthy Food for Tea Regions in Kenya

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Wollenhaupt Tee GmbHWollenhaupt Tee GmbH

Kenya is the third largest tea producer in the world after China and India. More than 60 % of the country's total production comes from small farmers in over 50 registered tea factories, employing more than 400,000 crop workers. The remaining 40 % of production is provided by the large tea plantations and their factories.

In Kenya, the "Healthy Nutrition for Tea Communities" program was launched in March 2021 in Kericho County, one of the most important tea growing areas in Kenya. As member of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), Wollenhaupt Tea is supporting this project, which is mainly managed by the organization GAIN (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition).

The partnership aims to provide good nutrition for 26,000 direct beneficiaries and around 110,000 indirect beneficiaries from the tea-producing population. Economic instability and poverty are often indicators of poor nutrition – and Kenya is no exception. More than 35 % of the population lives below the poverty line and it is estimated that 3.4 million Kenya suffer from food insecurity.

Poor nutrition is responsible for about 40 % of the risk factors that cause not only disease but also mortality.

Diets in Kenya are low in fruits and vegetables and high in sugar and fat, which can lead to micronutrient deficiencies, high rates of obesity, and increases in diabetes and heart disease. This also affects the tea regions in Kenya:

12 % of woman aged 15 to 49 are underweight, and at the same time, 29 % of woman aged 15 to 49 in tea regions are overweight. This unequal food allocation leads to many girls and boys suffering from malnutrition, growth disorders and infectious diseases. To stop this development, the "Healthy Nutrition for Tea Communities" program was launched:

In Kenya, training and communication campaigns shall raise awareness for healthy nutrition among small farmers and agricultural as well as factory workers in tea communities. By promoting healthy food in stores and markets, the demand of workers for nutritious and healthy products shall be increased. Additionally, the availability of healthy products, such as sweet potatoes and seedlings for fruits will be improved. Through this project the diversity of plants in the fields and small vegetable gardens shall be promoted. The program also supports targeted education of the importance of healthy eating through local kiosk and supermarket staff, radio shows and advertising, as well as by sending text messages with healthy eating tips.  

In this context, the “Healthy Nutrition in Tea Communities” project focuses on addressing the nutrition education issue to the tea sector workers to build a healthier, stronger and more resilient workforce and industry to improve people's livelihoods.

For more information on the “Healthy Nutrition for Tea Communities” program, visit GAIN and ETP.

For more information on workforce nutrition, visit the Workforce Nutrition Alliance.

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