Sir; While it is good news for the environment that Unilever has at last recognised the importance of sustainable tea production, these new plans do nothing to financially guarantee a better future for poor tea growers ('PG Tips claims title of biggest ethical brand', The Grocer, 8 December, p52). As one of the world's largest tea buyers, Unilever has the potential to drastically improve the lives of millions of people. But that requires a greater commitment than signing up to a label with zero financial obligations to pay growers more. The certification scheme Unilever is using, Rainforest Alliance, does not require buyers to pay even a minimum price to growers or to help smallholder growers. True, long-term sustainability only comes from empowering growers to meet all the challenges they face from environmental and financial to social. Falling tea prices threaten millions of growers across the developing world who are rarely paid enough to cover their production costs, let alone earn secure incomes to form the essential basis of sustainable livelihoods. Cafédirect pioneered a minimum price for tea in 2003, which we regularly review, to ensure our growers have reliable, sustainable incomes. Our work inspired the Fairtrade ­Labelling Organisation to create an international minimum tea price for the label - but it is below what we pay. Fighting poverty and protecting the environment go hand-in-hand, and Unilever should be commended for acknowledging its environmental obligations. However, it has made no financial guarantees to tea growers. By following our example - paying fairer prices, investing the majority of its profits in strengthening growers' businesses and working in long-term, direct partnerships with growers - Unilever could help create a real, sustainable future.