A third of Twinings' teas come from China and the company wanted to assist communities in its supply chain. Save the Children, meanwhile, ran projects in tea-growing areas of the country and the £1.5m the company has donated since 2004 has enabled those projects to flourish and expand.
Maxine Shields, social responsibility manager at Twinings, says the needs of both partners are accommodated. "We are working with Save the Children so they can support communities in our supply chain, but there is also balance so they will decide which other communities need support," she says.
In the partnership's first years, projects for children with HIV and disabilities were funded. The focus is now more on maternal and child health and nutrition. Projects in Myanmar have also been supported. Since 2011, the developing partnership has also embraced volunteering. Twinings staff members have been seconded to Save the Children offices in Jerusalem, Ethiopia and London, where assignments have ranged from supporting communication strategies to implementing a new finance system.
Douglas Rouse, corporate partnerships director with Save the Children, says the charity favours "stretch and grow" partnerships. "The partnership has grown tremendously since 2004," he says. "We have ambitions to stretch it further, maybe into other countries."