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

Made by Women: Impact report 2020

The Made by Women strategy seeks to ensure women in the garment industry have access to decent jobs, are free from violence and harassment and can give voice to their rights at work. Engaging with women, businesses, governments and... Read more...


What works? Preventing & responding to sexual harassment in the workplace: A rapid review of evidence

The Enhancing Women’s Voice to Stop Sexual Harassment (STOP) project is working with the garment industry and government in the Mekong to design and implement workplace models and mechanisms for preventing and responding to sexual harassment.... Read more...


Made by Women: Impact Report 2019

The Made by Women strategy seeks to ensure women in the garment industry have access to decent jobs, are free from violence and harassment and can give voice to their rights at work. CARE has the ambitious goal of economically empowering 8... Read more...


COVID-19 could condemn women to decades of poverty: Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s and girls’ economic justice and rights

COVID-19 has become an unprecedented and unpredictable global crisis. It is “a defining moment in human history”.  COVID-19 has affected everyone, but not equally so. The pandemic is exploiting and exposing deep structural inequalities... Read more...


Social Movements Power Tool

Social movements are a critical vehicle for change around the world, including in many countries where CARE operates. This Power Tool provides guidance on how CARE (and others) can engage in strategic partnerships with social movement actors. It... Read more...