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Building Bridges for Sustainable Tea Industry: Learning & Reflection Workshop

In an effort to strengthen the tea industry's sustainability initiatives, the Tea Association of Malawi (TAML), in collaboration with their long time development partners Solidaridad and Trust Africa, recently hosted a "Learning & Reflection Workshop."

The workshop took place on July 5th 2023, at Hapuwani Village Lodge in Mulanje.

The event brought together tea industry stakeholders, partners, and government officials, with the aim to facilitate knowledge exchange, reflection, and strategic planning for a more sustainable tea industry.

The event commenced with a warm welcome from Mr. Talentus Mthunzi, Head of Programme Quality Impact (Southern Africa) at Solidaridad, who highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts in achieving sustainable development goals within the tea industry.

Following the welcome remarks, the TAML Board Chairperson Mr.Sangwani Hara, made the workshop opening remarks, setting the tone for the day's objectives and agenda.

Image 1:Group Photo during the Workshop

Ms. Nozipho Ndlovu, Regional Program Manager from Solidaridad, took the stage to emphasize the significance of learning and reflection in driving positive change. She outlined the objectives of the workshop, which included fostering a collective understanding of sustainable practices, identifying challenges and opportunities, and aligning stakeholders' efforts toward a common vision.

Talentus later expanded on the Reclaim Sustainability Country Programme.

With a focus on sustainable practices, this initiative aims to revolutionize the tea industry by addressing environmental concerns, social equity, and economic viability. Talentus presented the program's key strategies and outlined how it would drive transformative change within the industry.

The workshop transitioned into interactive group sessions, where participants engaged in fruitful discussions. One key topic of conversation was the collective intervention timeline, where participants explored strategies and milestones for implementing sustainable practices. Additionally, activities such as highlighting stories of change, linking stories to strategic pathways, and conducting a SWOC (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Challenges) analysis of the Reclaim Sustainability initiative, helped participants gain valuable insights into their respective roles within the program.

Image 2: Participants conversing and brainstorming during breakout sessions

As the workshop neared its conclusion, participants collectively generated recommendations for the Reclaim Sustainability Programme.

These recommendations are aiming to strengthen existing efforts, bridge gaps, and ensure long-term success.

Coordinated efforts among stakeholders was emphasized to overcoming challenges and achieving sustainable outcomes within the tea industry.

The event culminated with closing remarks delivered by Mrs. Beatrice Makwenda, from Trust Africa. She expressed gratitude to all the participants for their active engagement and commitment to a sustainable future. Mrs. Makwenda underscored the importance of continued collaboration, urging everyone to work together to implement the recommended strategies and ensure the long-term success of the Reclaim Sustainability Programme.

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