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Unilever brews up new sustainable tea crop study

Unilever is initiating a major scientific study to evaluate the environmental and economic feasibility of applying biological or non-pesticide methods for plant protection of tea crops in India.

The fmcg giant has commissioned CABI, the agriculture-focused, inter-governmental, non-profit to conduct the research. It will review existing practices of crop protection and the limitations of current techniques in India.

In cooperation with the Tea Board of India, the Tea Research Institutes and key industry partners, CABI will then design protocols for pilot field-trials aimed at investigating novel approaches for biological, non-pesticide management of pests aiming at a holistic rejuvenation of the eco system. These field-trials will be run in partnership with the Tea Board and tea growers on selected estates and will commence during the next growing season.

The Tea Board of India is already pioneering work in this area through “Trustea” and more recently with the launch of a new Plant Protection Code (PPC). Unilever have supported and participated actively in both these initiatives.

As part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever has committed that by 2020 all its agricultural raw materials will be produced using sustainable crop practices.

Picture credit: © John Hix | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Asia | Sustainability

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