Esme's Story

Esme is 70. She had to take up tea farming after her husband died.

Esme was a retired primary school teacher before becoming a tea farmer. While she enjoys growing and picking her tea, Esme faces big challenges from unreliable rains due to climate change and the high cost of fertiliser.

‘TEACHING IS MUCH EASIER BECAUSE FARMING NEEDS A LOT OF ENERGY… I ALSO FIND IT DIFFICULT TO MANAGE MY GARDEN ALL ON MY OWN’.

Esme shares her home with her mother, daughter and grandchildren. Four generations in four rooms.

Her day starts at 5am. After taking tablets for her high blood pressure, she plucks tea and weeds the fields until 10am, before returning home to rest, collect water and prepare food. Esme is training her daughter to take over the farm.

‘I PLAN TO FARM TEA FOR THREE MORE YEARS BECAUSE I AM BECOMING WEAKER.’

Esme says that before Fairtrade, the amount of money they were getting for their tea was much lower. But it’s still hard to make ends meet.

Many farmers in developing countries are working as hard as Esme and still being short-changed for what they produce. This is exploitation.

By selling crops on Fairtrade terms, farmers get a better deal. This leads to a better and more stable income. Farmers can invest in their families and communities.

For Esme and her fellow farmers, that includes school blocks, a clinic, clean water and covering school fees for orphans.

But they have plans to do much more. They want to bring electricity and running water to every home in the village, and build more houses for teachers at the local school.

‘My message to consumers in the UK is please continue buying more Fairtrade tea so we can bring more development projects to our region.’

When you choose Fairtrade, you support farmers like Esme. You show you believe that everyone deserves to be paid fairly for a hard day’s work.

Don’t feed exploitation. Choose Fairtrade.

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Ben Moffat

Ben wants to increase his crop, but he needs to buy food, and so there isn’t enough to pay for the new tea seedlings.

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Esther Koskei

Coffee farmer Esther and her community are making a difference to their lives through Fairtrade – but there’s more to do.

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Our Mission

Learn what Fairtrade is doing to help change the lives of those that provide the food and drink on our tables and how you can help.

Find out more