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

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...


The Banking on Change youth savings group model: From saving and learning to banking and earning

With the global backdrop of the youth bulge where over a billion adolescents will transition into adulthood, Banking on Change, as the largest global financial inclusion programme working with youth savings groups, has generated evidence to... Read more...


Women, work & war: Syrian women and the struggle to survive five years of conflict

During five years of war, Syrian women have taken on new roles and responsibilities in supporting their families. However, Syrian women both in Syria and in refugee contexts encounter substantial barriers as they try to establish new livelihoods,... Read more...