December 15 International Tea Day

 

International Tea Day (ITD) is celebrated on December 15 every year. 

"The day surely celebrates tea but there’s lot more to it - there’s a purpose and agenda. The day aims to spread awareness about the tea producing countries, the tea growers, their communities and the trade of tea. It draws global attention of governments and citizens to the problems of tea industry, tea production and the impact of the global tea trade on the workers." writes Ruhani Sandhu on her blog

The first International Tea Day was observed on December 15, 2005, worldwide, to draw the attention of governments and citizens to the impact of current forms of global trade in tea on workers, small growers, and consumers. The decision to observe International Tea Day was taken after deliberations among various international organizations and trade unions during the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India, 2004 and Porto Alegre, 2005.

In the run up  to the 1st ITD observance, a two-day international consultation was held in Delhi. The delegates were worker leaders and small tea growers’ representatives from various tea-growing countries namely Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Malawi, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam. On December 15, 2005 the delegates adopted the declaration on the rights of tea workers and small growers

Following were identified by the organisers as the major objectives of the International Tea Day.
  1. To affirm the rights of tea plantation workers and small growers in the context of the emerging global trade regime
  2. To build awareness and responsiveness among all the concerned bodies: owners, management, government, trade unions, and workers with regard to both trade and labour standards
  3. To identify necessary policy decision both nationally and internationally and to advocate the promulgation of policy decisions, institutional systems, and their implementation
  4. To suggest regulatory mechanisms, including transparent monitoring systems, to be set up at various levels
  5. To strengthen future advocacy and campaign at an international level
  6. To facilitate tea consumption and promotion of trade in tea 
In India the call to observe International Tea Day was given by trade unions — AITUC, AICCTU, BMS, CITU, HMS, INTUC, UTUC, NTUI, and TUCC — and the Centre for Education and Communication, New Delhi. Subsequently, a one-day programme was held in New Delhi on December 15, 2005. Worker leaders, small growers, voluntary organizations, and academicians were among the key participants in the programme. The broad objective of the programme was to affirm the rights of plantation workers and small growers in the context of the emerging global trade regime.
Links
Tea Workers in India Demand Rationalisation of Wages and Right to Housing on the Occasion of 12th ITD
 
STGs Observe 12th ITD, Writes to Minister of Commerce and Industry for Recognition of their Contribution
 
12th ITD (2016) Press Release - Small Tea Grower Collectives
 
12th ITD (2016)  Press Release - Tea Workers
 
12th ITD (2016) International Tea Day 2016 - Media Coverage
 
12th ITD (2016)  Images

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