Walters Bay recognizes that our tea estate workers and growers need access to basic services. In the absence of these services, healthy communities cannot flourish.
There are five components to our social sustainability initiative:
- Education: Mandatory school attendance for all children.
- Day Care Centers: Provided for children before they reach school age.
- Housing: Subsidized housing for tea estate workers and their families.
- Healthcare: Free medical clinics for estate workers and their families.
- Retirement: Enrollment in retirement planning programs.
By controlling our processing factories, our export facility, and the sales & marketing of our products we have eliminated the need for additional middlemen, making it possible for our customers to source tea directly from the grower. This estate-direct model has helped to transfer more financial benefits to our growers and their families.
We provide continuing education for our female farmers by teaching them life skills through regular forums on how to manage and save their enhanced household income. In addition, classes on health, wellness and child education are offered. We believe that by empowering each of these female farmers, their contribution to the community will grow substantially.
Ergonomically-friendly, light-weight plucking baskets are provided for out-growers which are comfortable and easy to use compared to traditional heavy cane baskets.
Financial aid is available for farmers to purchase their own leaf transportation trucks, thus increasing their financial productivity.
The Sri Lankan government mandates a sustainable living wage to be paid to all tea estate workers. Additionally, worker benefits such as housing assistance, retirement savings, health care, and schooling are also provided by Walters Bay.