The Ethical Tea Society concept is an idea which directly addresses Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando’s vision of making business a matter of human service. It was established as recognition of the importance of sharing one small but important aspect of the work of the MJF Charitable Foundation and Dilmah Conservation; that is the deep sense of fulfillment that is an indirect benefit of the process of changing lives. It is best described in the words of American writer Maya Angelou, who wrote that, “among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”
The broader objective of the Society is to harness the enormous goodwill and creativity of the global Dilmah family of partners and their networks of consumers and well wishers to benefit the underprivileged and the environment. The benefits of membership in ETS are many including direct access to the artisanal craft of ETS beneficiaries.
The Society and its global membership are able to influence and enhance the effectiveness of MJF Foundation and Dilmah Conservation programmes by sharing ideas, or offering support in strengthening or extending existing programmes on humanitarian assistance or environmental protection.
The work of the MJF Foundation and Dilmah Conservation is founded on the philosophy of making business a matter of human service. Dilmah is a viable business because of its loyal consumers, retail and hospitality sector operators and the general goodwill of the people who love Dilmah. It is only logical that they share the sense of satisfaction that comes with the Founders philosophy.
The purpose of the Ethical Tea Society:
- Facilitating greater understanding and discussion around the concept of business as a matter of human service. The objective is to gain wider acceptance of the possibility of co-existence between commercial, positive humanitarian and environmental objectives in a profitable business.
- Facilitating debate and discussion on enlightened assistance to the underprivileged. Examples include knowledge and access to advanced therapies for treatment of patients at MJF Foundation supported hospitals, crèches and care centres, and advanced and environmentally friendly technologies for Small Entrepreneurs.
- Understanding, appreciating and gaining inspiration from the specific achievements of the MJF Foundation and lives that have been enriched and changed as a result.
- Considering how members and their networks can enhance the activities and resources available to the MJF Foundation and Dilmah Conservation through partnerships aimed at facilitating the empowerment of the poor. Marketing ethical products made by small entrepreneurs or local heroes of the MJF Foundation is an example. This offers them the opportunity to replicate the Dilmah story by eliminating the exploitative middle man, and securing a fair share of the revenue from the sale of their handicrafts or other products.
- To consider how members or those within their network might consider volunteering their expertise, time, products, services or facilitation in relation to an MJF Foundation or Dilmah Conservation project in Sri Lanka or as part of a fund raising or ethical gift marketing effort in their home country.