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Our Impact

We’re passionate about producing tea in a way that benefits our planet and the people who inhabit it. That’s why we put extra care into sustainable production and investing in our local community.
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Transforming Lives Through Tea

Our Ongoing Commitment to Social Responsibility

From 1975 to the present, Sorwathe and Tea Importers have improved the lives of countless Rwandans. Here are the ways we’ve invested in the Rwandan community:

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Transforming Lives Through Tea

Our Ongoing Commitment to Social Responsibility

Sorwathe remains committed to improving the lives of people in the surrounding communities through support for education (school buildings and scholarships), nutrition programs for preschoolers, computer labs for secondary school students, and sports. Sorwathe has also partnered with UNICEF to bring early childhood development and day care programs to families in the surrounding communities.

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Transforming Lives Through Tea

Our Ongoing Commitment to Social Responsibility

Due to the lack of local government funds, Sorwathe accessed potable water for itself and the local community and voluntarily built, repaired and maintained the roads to the company’s factory. In addition, Sorwathe built schools, established a medical clinic with assistance from USAID, and, in partnership with Rotary International, started an adult literacy program for the local population that has taught more than 15,000 Rwandan adults how to read and write in their native language.

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Transforming Lives Through Tea

Our Ongoing Commitment to Social Responsibility

During a shortage of cooking firewood following the 1994 Genocide, Sorwathe, in partnership with Rotary International, produced and distributed solar-powered cookers and fuel efficient rocket stoves to the local population, and later throughout Rwanda. So as not to compete for firewood with the local population, Sorwathe purchased and continues to sustainably maintain 500 hectares of Eucalyptus forest. These trees prevent deforestation and erosion on the hillsides while allowing Sorwathe to be self-sufficient in fuel. Our management of the forest also creates additional employment in the area.

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Transforming Lives Through Tea

Our Ongoing Commitment to Social Responsibility

Sorwathe was the first tea factory in Rwanda to introduce environmentally friendly policies such as waste recycling and has also been at the forefront of banning child labor and supporting workers’ rights. It was the first private company in Rwanda to sign a collective bargaining agreement with its workers. The factory utilizes sustainable agricultural practices, has two organic divisions, is a participant in the Ethical Tea Partnership, and the estate is Rainforest Alliance Certified™. Sorwathe is a Fair Trade certified producer in Rwanda and Fair Trade also supports the two small tea farmer cooperatives, Assopthe Cooperative and Hillside Organic Tea Cooperative

Rainforest Alliance Certified.
Find out more at ra.org

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Social Responsibility

Tea Importers and Sorwathe provide

Education

  • School Construction
  • High School Scholarships
  • Computer Literacy
  • Adult Literacy Program
  • Farmer Field Schools and Extension Services
  • English Classes for Children and Adults

Early Childhood Development

  • Daycare Facilities that Focus on ECD
  • Pre-Schools

Health & Quality of Life

  • PPE, Food, and Income Support During COVID-19
  • Nutrition Programs, including Fortified Porridge and Eggs
  • Sustainable Menstrual Products for School Girls
  • On-Site Medical Clinic
  • Cricket and Football Teams for Men and Women
  • Access to Potable Water
  • Local Road Maintenance

Environment

  • Solar Cooker and Fuel-Efficient Rocket Stove Production and Distribution
  • Sustainable Forest Maintenance
  • Waste Recycling
OUR AWARDS

Tea Importers is

Making Waves

Our tea farm, Sorwathe, has won many awards for its high-quaity teas, as well as its commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

IMPACT​

Tea Importers Received the 2012 US State Department Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE)

NORTH AMERICAN TEA CONFERENCE GOLD MEDAL COMPETITIONS:
2022:

First Place Rukeri Black OP1
Second Place Rukeri Black OP

2019:
First Place Rukeri Black OP & Second Place Rukeri Green OP, Rwanda
2018:
Second Place Rukeri Black OP, Rwanda
2017:
First Place Rukeri Organic Green OP & Second Place Rukeri Black OP, Rwanda
2016:
First Place Rukeri Black OP, Rwanda
2015:
Overall Winner Rukeri Organic Green OP & First Place Rukeri Black OP, Rwanda
2014:
First Place Rukeri Black OP, Rwanda
2013:
First Place Rukeri Black OP, Rwanda
NORTH AMERICAN TEA CONFERENCE SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS:
2022:
No. 1 Runner Up – Our Journey to Gender Equity
2019:
Recognition – Initiatives on Sustainability – Sorwathe Ltd.
2018:
Recognition – Enabling Girls To Attend School Without Stigma – Sorwathe Ltd.
2016:
Bronze Medal for One Pre-School Per Year and One Cup of Porridge per Child, Rwanda
PARTNERSHIPS

UNICEF & Sorwathe

In 2016, UNICEF and Sorwathe signed an agreement that facilitates access to early childhood development (ECD) and pre-primary services for infants and young children of tea farm and factory workers.

View the Sorwathe and UNICEF Rwanda Partnership story:

IMPACT

Fair Trade Premium Offsets Workers’ Health Insurance Costs

In order to ensure access to healthcare for all its citizens, the government of Rwanda introduced a compulsory health insurance system in 2008.  Rwandan nationals are now required to subscribe to one of the several health insurance systems. Citizens must pay an annual premium of RWF 3,000 (approx. $ 2.88) per person which provides access to basic healthcare such as maternity care and treatment for common ailments such as diarrhea, malaria, pneumonia, and malnutrition. While donor funding covers part of the fee, individuals still contribute a significant amount to cover the balance.

SHOP

Taste the Heart & Soul in Every Sip

Shop our green and black teas and taste the freshness and flavor you can only find in the green hills of Rwanda.