Case Study

Kericho: A sustainable tea plantation

3 pages
December 2009
Reference: IMD-3-2080

Unilever is among the world’s largest users of agricultural raw materials and a major buyer on world agriculture markets. Unilever’s work on sustainable agriculture has been focused on five key crops – palm oil, peas, spinach, tea and tomatoes. This short case provides an example of how Unilever has approached development of sustainable tea production in such a way that benefits are realized by both the business and the society in which it operates. The Kericho tea plantation, the subject of the case, was the first to be certified as sustainable after Unilever allied with the Rain Forest Alliance to further its efforts.

Learning Objective

This case can be used to stimulate discussions with leaders around how to address the challenges and realize opportunities from CSR initiatives. Questions it can stimulate discussion around include: Does a market leader have a moral obligation to take responsibility for its impact on nature? Why or why not? And at what potential cost? What role does a sustainability vision, and related beliefs, play in an organization? What benefits can a company derive from resulting actions? If you need to convince a cynic, what actions would you recommend?

Corporate Social Responsibility, Partnership, Food, Tea
Europe, Kenya
2004 – 2007
Field Research
© 2009
Available Languages
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