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World Tea News wrote Kenya tea workers earn a monthly salary based on harvesting a minimum 836 kilos of green leaf. This is equivalent to the daily average of 40-42 kilos of tea workers are required to pluck in many tea lands.
Actual amounts vary from 30 to 60 kilos per day due to terracing, difficult soil conditions, and wildlife (tea gardens are a favourite of dangerous snakes).
In Kenya multinational corporations that run large-scale estates have asked the courts to increase the plucking minimum to 1,170 kilos per month, a request hotly contested by workers who would have to pluck an average 58.5 kilos per day over 20 days to meet the minimum.
A three-judge court of appeals included the requirement in its findings, stating that yields have increased, techniques improved, and modern cultivars produce a heavier leaf.
“New tea species in the market coupled with improved husbandry has resulted in the rise of tea production. Therefore the productivity of each tea plucker ought to be revised upwards,” reads part of the judgement, as reported in the Digital Standard.