Tinjure Tea Cooperative was established in 1995, with 44 members and 2 of them were women. It was established with an objective to introduce tea farming in Tinjure, so that additional financial incentives could be earned through organic tea farming. It first started with nursery farming, aware the members about incentives of organic tea market and supported the members in tea plantation. It took them 10 years to access the tea market because of limited marketing awareness. At present, it has 238 members; produces 5,000 kgs of organic made tea; members receive approximately NPR 70 per kg of green leaves; and has 10 buyers, both local and international, for its made tea. Agriterra came in contact with Tinjure in 2014 through Central Tea Cooperative Federation Nepal (CTCF).
Agriterra played a significant role in linking Dutch Tea Buyer with Tinjure. Through CTCF, in 2014, Agriterra collected 3 to 4 tea samples and those samples were circulated to Dutch buyers in The Netherlands. MAAS International, a tea buyer, tested Tinjure’s tea samples quality parameters and was interested to import tea through their ‘Impact At Orgin’ concept. In September 2016, MAAS and Agriterra Nepal visited Tinjure Cooperative to conduct cooperative assessment. There was a follow up visit from MAAS along with Agriterra in January 2017, where Chief Executive Officer visited Tinjure to ensure quality and check on available facilities of Tinjure. After the visit, MAAS confirmed to invest on infrastructures at Tinjure and import 150 kg of tea as first sample. Agriterra realized that to capitalize such big opportunity, it was necessary to strengthen the capacity of their staff, financial management system, and overall organizational development. As a part of this partnership, MAAS invested approximately €55,000 on Tinjure for their infrastructure enhancement, Rain Forest Alliance Certification, packaging line establishment and staff development. MAAS further invested in advertisement in The Netherlands to link and create impact of Tinjure’s tea in European market.
Agriterra created and opened export horizon to Tinjure, which was almost far to reach for Tinjure before partnership with Agriterra. Now, Tinjure is ready to export first batch of 150 kg of tea bags to MAAS. It was reported that 2 additional international buyers, from USA and France, were also willing to negotiate the export terms with Tinjure. Post Rainforest certification, the members will receive better returns. This has also encouraged other tea farmers to be associated with Tinjure to earn better returns. Tinjure further wants to strengthen their organizational capacity to identify new potential buyers and enhance their marketing strategies for them to be sustainable in the long run. Agriterra will specifically work on 2nd half of 2017 with Tinjure to strengthen their organizational capacity so that their members could better benefit with new alliances with international tea buyers.