Independent tea and coffee company Taylors of Harrogate has been awarded a United Nations (UN) Global Climate Action Award ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow later this month.
The company won in the ‘Climate Neutral Now' category in recognition of its programme to help combat climate change while improving farmer livelihoods and ensure a long-term supply of quality tea and coffee.
The Global Climate Action Awards, run by United Nations Climate Change since 2011, recognised 11 of the world's most innovative, scalable and replicable examples of action to tackle climate change. Projects are commended as solutions that not only address climate change, but also help drive progress on many other UN Sustainable Development Goals, for example innovation, gender equality and economic opportunity.
Representatives from Taylors have been invited to collect the award during COP26 later this year.
All of Taylors of Harrogate's products are certified carbon neutral from field to shelf, accounting for emissions from cultivating, processing and shipping its tea and coffee. As well as reducing emissions across its operations it has been investing in projects within its supply chain where possible to benefit tea and coffee growing communities and balance its remaining carbon output.
One such programme has been a tree planting partnership, working with smallholder farmers in its tea supply chain in Kenya through TIST (The International Small Group and Tree Planting Programme). To date the partnership has planted two million trees with around 7,500 farmers, sequestering carbon and providing secondary incomes, along with shade and food. Taylors is also supporting projects to distribute fuel efficient cookstoves to smallholder farmers in Malawi.
Simon Hotchkin, head of sustainable development at Taylors of Harrogate, said: "The effects of climate change are already being felt in the countries we source from. Thousands of livelihoods and communities depend on tea and coffee production and we rely on the environment and our suppliers to grow and produce our products. We wanted our projects to make a difference to both the climate and the suppliers we work with where we could. We're honoured to have received international recognition for this programme and we're looking forward to getting out and building new projects for the next phase of our work."