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

Within Reach: How banks in emerging economies can grow profitably by being more inclusive

Many banks have opted out of targeting and serving underbanked consumers in developing countries, concluding that it is either too complex, costly or not profitable. In order to tackle these assumptions and to help banks better understand the... Read more...

Adding value to value chains: How to unlock the poverty-fighting potential of value chains

Poor people are producers, workers, entrepreneurs and consumers – yet they are the most disadvantaged in market systems. Why do so many people remain at the bottom of the pyramid, unable to participate equitably in markets and improve their... Read more...

Improving maternal and child health in Asia through innovative partnerships and approaches

This research brief provides an overview of the impact of project interventions and CARE’s best practices under the GSK ‘20% Reinvestment Initiative’ in Asia. This strategic partnership between CARE and GSK focuses on improving maternal and... Read more...