A Different Cup of Tea: The Business Case for Empowering Workers in the Sri Lankan Tea Sector

Is there a business case for worker empowerment? New evidence suggests the answer is yes. Twenty-three tea estates partnering with CARE International Sri Lanka have successfully implemented Community Development Forums, which are ‘mini-parliaments’ that facilitate dialogue between workers, management and the broader community. The model opens up new channels of communication between stakeholders across the plantation region, serving as a forum where collective decisions about community development priorities and labour conditions are negotiated and decided in a transparent way.

An independent assessment by the New Economics Foundation showed that that there was a 1:26 return on investment for estates, plus additional gains for workers and the community.

  • Countries: Sri Lanka
  • Co-authors: CARE International Sri Lanka
  • Published: September 2013

Related Publications

Resilient markets: Strengthening women’s economic empowerment and market systems in fragile settings

Functioning market systems and a responsible and responsive private sector are critical to livelihoods, autonomy and well-being. However, they are both heavily impacted by crisis, and women, who face greater barriers to economic activity than... Read more...


Women’s leadership in Cocoa Life communities

Emerging best practices of women’s leadership within cocoa farming in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire

This report of an extensive review of the Cocoa Life program’s approach to promoting women’s leadership... Read more...


Growing together: Strengthening micro-enterprises in value chains

A guide for companies to strengthen micro-enterprise market systems

This guide is intended for large companies, and their development partners, to enable them to help micro-enterprises in their value chains to thrive, with a view... Read more...


CARE’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Strategy

Women’s economic empowerment is one of four priority areas for CARE’s work, as set out in the CARE 2020 Program Strategy. This strategy on women’s economic empowerment sets out what CARE will do to meet our aim of 30 million women having... Read more...