The Honde Valley Tea Growers Association in Zimbabwe has been UTZ certified since 2014. There are currently around 565 smallholders working with UTZ, but they are planning to increase this to over 900 in the coming year.
Meet some of the inspiring women who are part of the cooperative.
“I am happy because of UTZ because I am now one of the best farmers in my district and I was also elected as a lead farmer. I am one of the biggest farmers with 11.5 ha. I am having a good living with my family because of farming. UTZ taught me about good hygiene practices and at home I am a better mother because of it. Through training with UTZ I am also a leader in my community.”
“I am employed as a data clerk by HVSDC. Under the UTZ program I have learnt a lot, especially about recordkeeping. I want to encourage all farmers that “UTZ certification is the way forward because without this market farmers will not be able to sell their tea in future.”
“I am a widow with 2 children. Because of UTZ certification I have become a lead farmer and I have learnt more about good farming practices and to respect one another. Through tea farming I have more money to pay school fees for my children and I am very grateful for this project.”
“I am a widow with 12 children farming with tea and bananas. Through UTZ I have learnt to improve hygiene practices. I am a lead farmer who now receives training from UTZ on good farming practices and so I am able to teach other farms these practices as well.”
“I am a 35 years old mother with 7 kids. I am a lead farmer and through UTZ training I now have more knowledge about good farming practices and waste management. I want to thank UTZ for these training opportunities and all I can say is please come again and teach us more.”