Indicator Library

Tea Indicators

Purpose

Tool to measure and monitor the main sustainability challenges related to the tea sector.

Definition: Tea indicators serve to to provide high-level diagnostic information on the state of tea sustainability and the main challenges and also readily convey specific and vital information that can inform policy and decision-making. The information collected through the use of these indicators can also help in better designing future interventions and in evaluating their impacts in the tea sector.

Distinction

Build on the best of current practices but in a fundamentally new way by streamlining and creating more pragmatic options so that tea sustainability measurement is more easily measured and understood.

Core support for this work has come from:

A Sample Of Global themes
S
  • Living and Working Conditions
  • Community
  • Perception
  • Basic Human Rights and Equity
E
  • Soil
  • Resource Management
  • Water
  • Perception
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate Change
E
  • Producer Livelihood
  • Risk (Economic Resilience)
  • Producer Organization
  • Competitiveness
  • Perception

KEY CHARACTERSTICS

  • THEMES
  • CORE ELEMENTS
  • NAME
  • DESCRIPTION

Key Characteristics

  • Farm Characteristics
    Land tenure

    Owned by farmer, rented, sharecrop, communal ownership, farmed without payment

    Farm characteristics

    Management by owner, renter, or sharecropper or by a paid manager; farm size; age of focus crop trees (if relevant); focus crop area; farm location (GIS coordinates); distance from farm to nearest commercial center and to medical services

  • Adverse Events
    Occurrence of shocks

    Occurrence of three major shocks (social, economic, or environmental) that led to a serious reduction in household's income, assets, or consumption in the last production year, in the last two years, and five years. Shocks ranked in order of severity.

    Shock context information

    The array of risks that people are exposed to in a given context.

    Rates of losses

    Rates of crop losses due to shocks.

  • Household Demographics
    Producer characteristics

    Age of decision maker (producer) responsible for the focus crop, grades of school completed, gender, years of experience growing focus crop

    Household composition

    Number of people, genders, ages, dependency ratio, literacy, and school grades completed

SOCIAL

  • THEMES
  • CORE ELEMENTS
  • NAME
  • DESCRIPTION

Living and Working Conditions

  • New Technologies
    Access to new technology

    Events that allowed household to adopt new technology.

    Adoption of new technologies

    Adoption of new cropping/livestock practices and new agricultural equipment in the last five years.

    Perceptions technology and innovation

    Relations between the adoption of technology and changes of labor use and cost/efficiency.

  • Employment Relationships
    Bonded, Forced Labor, and Trafficking

    Whether the producer is aware of any indentured labor arrangements (including children) in the region and whether they know anyone personally who is involved in this type of situation.

    Labor Contracts

    Whether the producer has a written contract that covers labor hours, duration of employment, wages, termination conditions, time off, grievance procedures, safeguarding policies, etc. and if it is honored; if the producer knows anyone whose contract has not been honored.

    Child labor

    Time spent by children working on focus crop production

    Discrimination (wage)

    Equal pay for equal work: if any group of workers receives lower wages than others for doing equal work (i.e., immigrants, women, ethnic or religious minorities).

    Right to organize

    Whether the producer is aware of any unions or committees of workers and if they know anyone who is a part of them.

    Minimum wage - labor

    Daily earnings for farm labor compared to (rural) minimum wage

    Workers Training

    Training provided to workers. Data include: Training topics and hours attended, fees, time and cost for travel, provider of training. Perceptions about quality of training. Knowledge and skills learnt through training.

    Compliance with international/national laws on worker rights

    The supplier complies with all international and national laws regarding worker rights, including: working conditions, adequate pay and fair treatment. Asked across the supply chain.

  • Health and Safety
    Restrictions on agrochemical application

    Categories of people restricted from applying chemical pesticides: untrained people, pregnant women, children through age 18, elders

    Farm injuries

    Number of injuries on farm that required medical treatment

    Protective gear for agrochemical application

    Farm supplies protective gear (hats, masks, protective clothing, etc.) to workers who apply agrochemicals

    Hazardous Machinery & Facility Safety (Processing)

    Measures to ensure health and safety in the processing structures (proper training to reasonably protect the worker, safeguarding of machinery to prevent accidents, protective equipment, workplace sanitation, proper lighting and ventilation).

    Restrictions on hazardous working conditions

    Categories of people restricted from using dangerous machinery, equipment, and tools: untrained people, pregnant women, children through age 18, elders.

  • Living Conditions
    Safe Water for Domestic Use

    Household access to water they consider safe to drink

    Smoke ventilation in cooking area

    Whether or not a vent or chimney is used to eliminate indoor smoke

  • Information
    Access to information

    Access to information about good agricultural practices; access to market information (prices buyer receives, other local prices, global prices). Frequency and source of information.

  • Adequate conditions
    Banned pesticides and other hazardous chemicals

    Use of pesticides banned under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and listed in the Rotterdam Convention (listed in local names).

    Adequate housing

    If there are workers that require housing, whether the housing provided is clean, has sanitary facilities, good roofing, adequate security, and provided at affordable cost (affordable housing to be measured comparing the cost of housing to the labor monthly earnings) Affordability will need to be determined for each region separately.

    Access to medical services

    Travel time from farm to medical services, perceived affordability of medical services

    Safe water for laborers

    Laborers' access to water they consider safe to drink during work

    Access to sanitation facilities

    Availability (presence) of sanitation facilities in the household.

    Access to education

    Support to education for children and young workers. Literacy classes for all workers.

Community

  • Infrastructure
    Access to sanitation facilities

    Availability (presence) of sanitation facilities in the household.

    Access to electricity

    Availability (presence) of electricity at home (private generator or public electricity supply).

  • Basic Services
    Access to safe water

    Household access to water they consider safe to drink

    Access to medical services

    Travel time from farm to medical services, perceived affordability of medical services

    Access to school

    Availability (presence and affordability) of school within reasonable travel distance.

    Market access

    Availability (presence and affordability) of market for selling and buying products within reasonable travel distance.

  • Participation
    Community services

    Community projects coordinated through a producer organization that someone from the farm was involved in (improvements in: agricultural facilities, access to water or sewage, medical care, road or school construction, etc.)

    Women's participation in organization

    Intensity of women's participation in producer organization indicated by number of ways they participate (participate in meetings, vote, serve as delegate, hold executive post)

    Producer Perception of Organization's Value

    Producer's perceptions of the value obtained from specific producer organization services (marketing/price negotiation; physical services: cleaning, grading, storage, etc.; and trainings coordinated by producer organization)

    Producer Participation in Organization

    Intensity of producer's participation in producer organization indicated by number of ways they participate (attend meetings, vote, serve as delegate, hold executive post)

Perception

  • Social Situation
    Quality of Life

    Producer's opinion of the overall quality of life for those on the farm

    Community care of environment

    Producer's opinion of the community’s care of the environment

    Social Training

    Producer's opinion on the value of social responsibility training programs: general perception of usefulness and indication of specific practices implemented as a direct result of training

Basic Human Rights and Equity

  • Education
    Children in school at appropriate grade level

    Number of household members through age 18 who have completed appropriate number of grades for age

    Training

    Data include: Training topics and hours attended, fees, time and cost for travel, provider oftraining. As well as information on why did women did not participate in the training. 

    Household adult education level

    Number of household members aged 15 years and older who have primary school or higher level of education.

  • Food Security
    Days Without Sufficient Food

    Days without sufficient food tracks number of days in past year that any member of household cut food consumption due to lack of food and months/times of year of comparatively less household food security.

  • Gender
    Education (by gender)

    Number of household members through age 18 who have completed appropriate number of grades for age (disaggregated by gender)

    Price received

    Price received for focus crop by gender

    Women's Participation

    Attendance at trainings and in producer organizations (by gender)

    Management (by Gender)

    Proportion of decisions about the focus crop made by women and by men

ENVIRONMENTAL

  • THEMES
  • CORE ELEMENTS
  • NAME
  • DESCRIPTION

Soil

  • Conservation
    Nutrient Balance

    Producer's method(s) to determine fertilizer needs (soil analysis report, advice or assessment of a professional, observation, knowledge of nutrient depletion by previous crop, etc.)

    Erosion

    Severity and prevalence of observed erosion on farm (in relation to slope)

    Local nutrient cycle

    Recycling of organic matter and crop wastes

    Intercropping

    Interplanting species for soil health, diversification, fertility

    Field maintenance

    Method(s) used to clean annual crop areas after harvest (leaving crop residue as ground cover, cutting and raking into piles, burning, etc.)

    Soil Conservation

    Measures taken to conserve soil and soil moisture balance (contour planting, soil cover, live fences, hedgerows, buffer zones, soil berms, etc.)

Resource Management

  • Resource/Input Management
    Pesticide use efficiency

    Pesticide use compared to level of losses from pest or disease

    Pesticides used

    Amount of natural or synthetic insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc. that are used on focus crop

    Energy

    Energy sources, costs for purchasing or producing, and use (electricity, gasoline, LPG, diesel, solar, wind, hydropower, wood from forests, prunings, managed woodlot, etc.)

    Pruning for plant health and quality

    Pruning method, period and frequency.

    Toxicity class of pesticides

    Amount of active ingredients in pesticides by toxicity class

    Nutrient Balance

    Producer's method(s) to determine fertilizer needs (soil analysis report, advice or assessment of a professional, observation, knowledge of nutrient depletion by previous crop, etc.)

    Integrated pest management

    IPM practices employed on farm

    NPK use and efficiency

    Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium amounts in synthetic fertilizers used and compared to focus crop yields - indicates both efficiency and potential pollution

  • Waste Management
    Responsible Waste Management

    Materials recycled, reused, or disposed of properly

Water

  • Water Quality
    Water Conservation Measures

    Practices used to conserve water: drip irrigation, catchments, water-efficient processing, etc.

    Safe Water for Domestic Use

    Household access to water they consider safe to drink

    Water Contamination Prevention Measures

    Practices used to prevent water contamination from: crop processing wastewater, animals, domestic discharge, cleaning of agrochemical application equipment, etc.

    Safe water for laborers

    Laborers' access to water they consider safe to drink during work

Perception

  • Environmental Situation
    Environmental Training

    Producer's opinion on the value of environmental training programs: general perception of usefulness and indication of specific practices implemented as a direct result of training

    Community care of environment

    Producer's opinion of the community’s care of the environment

Biodiversity

  • Genetic Diversity
    Species and varietal diversity

    Portion of focus crop(s) that are improved varieties (locally adapted or native heirloom varieties, selected to thrive in local conditions, hybrid, genetically altered, genetically selected); number of other crops or animal products produced on farm for sale, trade, or consumption

  • Biodiversity Protection
    Endangered species protection

    Farming practices to protect endangered species

    Ecosystem protection

    Measures taken to protect natural resources: 1) # hectares of land under accepted restoration practices referencing restoration of grass land, wet land  and degraded land converted to farm land, communal land or both; 2) Areas where natural ecosystems are protected including Nature reserves, National Parks, Heritage sites, Community conservation areas, Limited-use areas, Rules to exclude outsiders from the use of local natural resources, Buffer areas, Wildlife reserves, Sacred sites, Indigenous reserves.

  • Plant Diversity
    Plant and tree diversity

    Levels of biodiversity: cleared land or pasture, monoculture, 2-3 cultivated species (sparse trees), 4-10 cultivated species (some trees), crop presence with multi-strata forest, fully functional natural forest; practices followed that preserve or enhance biodiversity

  • Tree Density
    Trees per hectare

    Density of trees in farm habitats

    Forestation

    Number and types of trees planted or removed; land area altered by planting or removing trees

Climate Change

  • Sequestration and Mitigation
    Land Use Change

    Conversion of natural land (e.g., prairie, forest, savanna) to land used for cultivation orpasture, or conversion from cultivated or pasture land to natural land

    Carbon stock

    Number, size, type of trees and other perennial woody plants

ECONOMIC

  • THEMES
  • CORE ELEMENTS
  • NAME
  • DESCRIPTION

Producer Livelihoods

  • Costs
    Labor costs

    Total cost of full time and part time paid labor to produce focus crop, and opportunity cost for unpaid labor

    Costs of standard or certification

    Specific costs associated with obtaining the certificate and audit/inspection

    Capital assets

    Amount paid (amortized in some cases) for capital assets: equipment, irrigation, health clinic, worker housing, plumbing, sanitation, warehouses, etc.

    Planting and reforestation costs

    Cost to buy plants and materials to grow trees and plants other than focus crop, and for the labor to plant the trees

    Traceability and record keeping

    Labor and other costs incurred for record keeping and tracking inputs and practices

    Pesticide costs

    Amount paid for insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides--synthetic and natural--that are used on focus crop

    Fertilizer costs

    Amount paid for fertilizers--synthetic and natural--used on focus crop

    Deductions by buyer

    Amount deducted by the buyer from focus crop payments

    Energy

    Energy sources, costs for purchasing or producing, and use (electricity, gasoline, LPG, diesel, solar, wind, hydropower, wood from forests, prunings, managed woodlot, etc.)

    Labor days

    Days of paid and unpaid (e.g., household) labor used to produce focus crop

    Cultivation practices

    Costs for changes in cultivation practices e.g., drip irrigation, conservation tillage, contour planting, etc.

    Training costs

    Training fees, time, and cost for travel

    Renovation costs

    Cost for seedlings, planting/grafting materials, bags, shade materials, etc. for tea

  • Revenue
    Yield

    Average yield during the year under consideration by focus crops mainly handled by the PO, yield change over time and reasons for positive or negative changes in yield (e.g., climate condition, farm management, technology)

    Farm revenue

    Focus crop revenue, other crop revenue, income from providing services (training, nurseries, land & equipment rental, etc.)

    Price

    Average of sales price(s) received per unit of focus crop; min and max prices received per unit of focus crop

    Household revenue

    Combined revenue from focus crop sales, other crops, other earnings (off farm employment, on-farm services provided, business revenue, and land & equipment rental), and gifts & remittances

    Tea revenue

    Gross revenue from all sales of green leaf

  • Income
    Net household income

    Total household revenue less total costs for focus crop production, other crop and livestock production costs, and costs for businesses run by household members

    Net income from tea

    Total revenue from tea sales less total costs for tea production

Risk (Economic Resilience)

  • Credit
    Access to Credit

    Producer indicates that he or she could access medium sized production loan within a reasonable time, if needed; potential source of the loan

    Credit history

    Amount of credit received by a producer compared to the amount of credit requested (if any); terms of the loan, repayment history

  • Savings
    Access to savings

    Availability (presence and affordability) of savings organizations in the community.

    Savings history

    Type of savings tools implemented by the household and the corresponding amount saved (when applicable): investment in livestock/crops/material assets; participation in local savings group; money lending to others; money savings at home; savings at banks and formal institutions.

  • Vulnerability
    Minimum wage - Producer

    Comparison of a producer's net income per labor day to minimum wage

    Next Generation

    Participation by younger adults in decision making, training, and producer organizations associated with the focus crop

    Gender income differences

    Total net income from tea farms owned or managed by women compared to farms managed by men

    Profit and loss

    Producer's awareness of profit or loss from focus crop production and sales

    Insurance

    Producer has agricultural insurance policy in effect; terms of the policy

  • Information
    Price transparency

    Producer's understanding of the factors that affect the price they receive for focus crop (quality, consistency, variety, etc.)

    Access to market information

    Market information the producer reports knowing (price buyer receives, other local prices, global prices)

  • Diversification
    Number of income sources

    Number of other crops (including those intercropped with focus crop) cultivated by the household. Number of self-employed (e.g., taxi driver, plumber, technician, etc.), or business activities (e.g., convenience store, handcrafting, etc.) in which household is involved. Number of animal products (meat, dairy, wool, honey, etc.) produced on farm for sale or for consumption. Number of other sources of income for the household (gifts, remittances, land rental, etc.).

    Dependency

    Portion of total production net income from focus crop, other crops, livestock activities, business activities.

Producer Organization

  • Services
    Community services

    Community projects coordinated through a producer organization that someone from the farm was involved in (improvements in: agricultural facilities, access to water or sewage, medical care, road or school construction, etc.)

    Financial Services

    Financial services offered by the PO to members

    Production and post-harvest services

    Market information, marketing support, extension services, and processing available from producer organization to producer

  • Governance
    Women's participation in organization

    Intensity of women's participation in producer organization indicated by number of ways they participate (participate in meetings, vote, serve as delegate, hold executive post)

    Producer Perception of Organization's Value

    Producer's perceptions of the value obtained from specific producer organization services (marketing/price negotiation; physical services: cleaning, grading, storage, etc.; and trainings coordinated by producer organization)

Competitiveness

  • Business Development
    Quality awareness

    Producer's awareness of the quality characteristics of the focus crop

    Record Keeping

    Producer keeps records of costs and production data

    Farmers confidence about their continuity into the future

    Strength of producer's forecasting that he or she will remain a professional tea producer; strength of indication that producer would be happy if his or her children chose to become professional tea producers

    Access to market information

    Market information the producer reports knowing (price buyer receives, other local prices, global prices)

    Farm price to global reference price ratio

    Comparison of price paid to producer for focus crop to global reference price

  • Differentiation
    Product quality

    Key quality measures for focus crop

    Current standards and certifications

    Number of current certifications or standards the farm holds

    Control of certification or standard

    Who owns the certificate or verification of standard compliance (producer, buyer, producer organization, etc.)

    Crop sold with a standard or as certified

    Portion of total focus crop produced that is sold with a standard or as certified

    Price premium

    Premium paid or value delivered for meeting a quality standard or a certification

  • Efficiency
    Cost (Economic) Efficiency

    Ratio of revenue received from sales of focus crop to costs incurred for fertilizers, pesticides, and labor 

    Production/labor (technical) efficiency

    Quantity of focus crop produced per unit of input: fertilizer, pesticide, paid labor day, unpaid labor day

Perception

  • Economic Situation
    Business Development Training

    Producer's opinion on the value of business development training programs: general perception of usefulness and indication of specific practices implemented as a direct result of training

    Producer Opinions on Economic Situation

    Producer's opinion of their overall economic situation