The Fruits of our Labours

Posted in Environment, Our News, Rainforest News.

Trees For Life Bihar Project

Back in 2007, we invited Yorkshire Tea fans to save special tree tokens from our packs. And in return, we pledged to plant a tree in India for every token they sent in.

It was one of the final projects that made up our 20-year long Trees For Life campaign, which saw us plant 3 million trees around the world. Three years on, and we’re able to look back at how that project changed lives and built communities.

Thanks to the support of our customers, we were able to fully fund Oxfam’s work to plant trees in north east India – one of the most disaster prone regions in the world. Tree felling and erratic rainfall caused by climate change mean the region experiences cycles of devastating floods and droughts that effect hundreds of thousands of people each year.

With our support, Oxfam have worked with 10,911 families, in 78 communities, to plant 80,069 saplings. Typically, these hard-pressed families are often headed by women, and planting trees – such as mango, papaya, guava, banana and lemon – has helped address problems of malnutrition and given families a valuable source of income. The tree planting is also helping protect land and belongings during floods, and in some villages the extra vegetation has actually reduced summer temperatures by 5 degrees.

A good example of what this means on an individual level comes in the form of this quote from Shanti, a 52 year old mother from the village of Jaisidih. Shanti was given eight fruit tree saplings which she planted at her homes, and she told us: “After seven months we got the first harvest of papaya and after nine months banana. My family was very happy and my children got the first taste of fruits in their life. Now I have more trees and sell fruit in the market. I’m invited to other villages to give training and I have a new name – ‘Pedwali Didi’ which means tree plantation sister.”

Of course, the focus of our business now is very much on the Yorkshire Rainforest Project, our pledge to save an area of rainforest the size of Yorkshire. But it’s heart-warming to be able to look back at what we’ve already achieved together - and to see how all your support is still making a difference, even today.

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