The members of the Small Farmer’s Tea Project (SFTP) in Kerala, India are predominantly marginalized small producers and members of tribal groups who have suffered from social and economic injustice for generations. The goal of the SFTP is to bring its members economic growth and control.
In 1998 against all odds, Wupperthal Original Rooibos Cooperative was established. Wupperthal is a democratically organized group of small-scale farmers who have grown Rooibos in South Africa for generations. The Wupperthal farmers were pushed off the most fertile land in the 1800’s and later endured the apartheid era. They now grow food in the very dry, rocky soil of the Cedarberg Mountains which presents a big challenge for most of their crops. With Rooibos, however, the slower growth and lower production has resulted in notably higher quality tea compared to plantation Rooibos which is grown on the most fertile lands. Today, 98% of rooibos production is grown on plantations with white landowners, making Wupperthal a true gem in a rocky landscape.
Read more about Wupperthal on the Small Farmers. Big Change. blog