Sustainable sourcing

Guidelines on PPF

Tata Consumer Products Limited guidelines on Plant Protection Formulations 2014

1. Policy statement

Tata Consumer Products Limited is committed to minimising the possible negative impact of Plant Protection Formulation (PPF) on the environment.

Crops pests and diseases are threats to the income of farmers and food security of the society. The use of PPFs is an essential input in tea cultivation, for achieving optimum productivity under certain socio-economic and agronomic conditions.

We aim to achieve sustainability in our supply chain by promoting Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), including integrated pest management, promotion of alternative control strategies (biological control, etc.) for achieving optimum productivity, and to gradually reduce the dependence on chemicals.

Our suppliers shall focus on responsible chemical management, which includes proper selection, judicious usage, safe storage and proper disposal, occupational health and safety, and green chemistry.

Our position on PPF is integrated into our business decisions and our sustainable sourcing strategy.

2. Scope of requirements

Tata Consumer Products Limited’s position on the use of PPF in the tea industry aims at reducing the dependence on chemicals in our supply chain. This position is based on the recommendations of international bodies, such as:

  • The World Health Organization Recommended Classification of Pesticides
  • The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  • The Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC) for certain chemicals and pesticides in international trade

Our suppliers shall comply with all applicable legal and statutory requirements at all times. These necessarily include pesticide residual requirements, as prescribed by the national governments in both producing and selling countries.

3. Our commitment

Tata Consumer Products Limited is committed to sustainable beverage production and consumption. Our sustainable sourcing strategy is focussed on sustainable agricultural practices, and describes our principles and code of conduct in purchasing raw materials for our manufacturing units. It describes minimum requirements on food safety, social and working conditions, occupational health and safety and environmental demands, and agricultural practices at suppliers.

  • Tata Consumer Products Limited is committed to providing safe and best quality beverages to its consumers that will enhance their satisfaction.
  • Our intent is that by 2020, all the tea that we buy shall be 100% sustainably sourced.
  • We shall inform our suppliers to phase out WHO Class 1a and 1b chemicals; POP, as per the Stockholm Convention; and Rotterdam Convention (on Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure for certain chemicals in international trade, as listed in Annex III) in our supply chain by January 2015.
  • We will support the implementation of a plan for our supply chain to gradually reduce the use of agrochemicals (WHO Class II and III)
  • We will encourage our suppliers to use non-chemical approaches, such as bio-pesticides, biological agents, tillage, etc., in their farms. However, the extent of usage will depend on the agronomic conditions, geography and learning levels of the supplier.

4. The way forward

  • Collaborations and partnerships: Tata Consumer Products Limited will partner with its suppliers, farmers, NGOs, agrochemical suppliers, research institutions, statutory authorities and other stakeholders to promote its position on PPF.
  • Integrated pest management: Tata Consumer Products Limited will promote the integration of non-chemical approaches, such as cultural, biological, physical and mechanical, along with chemical control measures, against various pests of tea.
  • Independent third party certifications: We will accept independent third party certifications of sustainable agricultural practices, such as Rainforest Alliance, Trustea or UTZ, from our tea producers as evidence that the tea they supply to us is sustainably sourced.
  • Farmer Field Schools (FFS): Tata Consumer Products Limited will support the establishment of FFS by its partners, such as ETP, IDH — the Sustainable Trade Initiative, or Solidaridad, which educates the farmers on sustainable agricultural practices and certifications, and encourages them to follow IPM and reduce usage of pesticides.
  • Package of practices: We will support the chemical industry to introduce a Package of Practices (POP) in our supply chain that optimises and reduces the PPF used.
  • Pilot Projects: We will support field trials and pilot projects that demonstrate the long-term viability of tea crop production, by reducing the use of synthetic agrochemicals.

Note: "PPF" includes all Plant Protection Formulation covering insecticides, acaricides, fungicides, herbicides, etc.

Note: This document is applicable for tea purchased by Tata Consumer Products Limited for Tetley and Tata Tea brands.

Sustainable Plant Protection Formulation

Tata Consumer Products recently announced the Sustainable Plant Protection Formulation (SPPF) project, an initiative to develop ecological solutions for plant protection in tea. The project is an initiative between 3 Tata Companies — Tata Chemicals, Tata Consumer Products and Rallis — to develop and use ecological solutions for plant protection in tea.

The objective of the project is to develop commercially viable portfolio of SPPFs for tea, and will strive to find ecologically-friendly solutions to pest management in Indian tea gardens. Read the announcement here.