The Dangerous Job of Growing Tea

Jul 18, 2023 | Environmental, History, Videos

The steep slopes of the coastal mountains in Turkey are home to thousands of small farmers who grow tea, but without safe and reliable infrastructure, their lives are at risk. For years, these farmers have been forced to transport their harvested tea leaves via improvised cable cars that are cobbled together from whatever materials they can find. Unfortunately, this lack of safety has proved fatal for 16 people over the past decade, while hundreds more have suffered severe limb injuries.

One engineer is demanding that standardised and safe infrastructure be put in place so that these small farmers do not continue to risk their lives in pursuit of a livelihood. However, despite the urgency of the problem, politicians appear content with doing nothing about it.

The documentary “Tea Pickers on the Edge” brings this critical issue to light with harrowing footage of workers risking their lives each day as they ferry sacks of harvested tea leaves up or down the hill. This film also provides insight into how life has changed for other families affected by the tragedy and documents how some individuals have refused to be defeated by such events and are now fighting for change.

We invite you to watch “Tea Pickers on the Edge” and learn more about how inadequate infrastructure puts small farmers at risk every day – and what we can all do collectively to help bring about positive change for them.

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David B